A documentary about the National Cochlear Implant Programme titled THE SOUND BARRIER will be broadcast on Tuesday 14th July@ 9.35pm on RTE One.
A Cochlear Implant is a highly sophisticated device, which provides access to sound for people with severe to profound hearing loss. The surgically implanted device, when coupled to an external processor, can provide access to speech and everyday sounds to aid or improve communication abilities.
The National Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme was established at Beaumont Hospital in 1985 by Dr Laura Viani, Consultant ENT Surgeon as an extension of the adult programme. This service provides for the assessment of children, including those with complex needs, for suitability for a cochlear implant and if children are deemed appropriate then the service can then provide the necessary medical, surgical and post-operative management and rehabilitation.
Cochlear implantation in young children requires a unique combination of technology, skills and long-term child and family support, while the child learns to use the new auditory sensation provided by the implant system. The programme is completely publically funded and includes assessment, hearing aid fittings, surgical intervention, and all post-operative follow up and management.
Up until 2014, Ireland was one of the few countries in Europe that was just offering children one cochlear implant (unilateral) which still offers significant gains in hearing and speech development but cochlear implants in both ears (bilateral) are recognised as the international best standard.
However in late 2013, Minister James Reilly confirmed the Government’s plans for Beaumont Hospital to introduce a new Bilateral Cochlear Implant Programme from mid-2014, in partnership with Temple Street.
In July 2014, the Bilateral Cochlear Implant Programme commenced. This means that children who already had a first cochlear implant and were deemed suitable for a second implant and younger children who were deemed suitable for bilateral simultaneous (at the same time) implants have been having that surgery in Temple Street. Post-operative follow-up and management is delivered in Beaumont Hospital.
Temple Street in partnership with their colleagues in the National Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme team at Beaumont Hospital is delighted to announce that 25 first bilateral simultaneous and 40 first bilateral sequential (after the first implant) cochlear implants have been conducted in Temple Street since July 2014.