Surgery delayed by crisis will impact child cochlear implant cases long term


implant surgery

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Children born with hearing difficulties will suffer life-long issues if elective surgery restrictions under coronavirus measures delay their cochlear implant operations, the CEO of Cochlear Ltd has warned.

Recognising that freeing up capacity is important in combating healthcare saturation, Cochlear boss Dig Howitt was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald as hoping that allowances could soon be made to allow children to receive crucial surgical operations, not just in implants. He underlined that paediatric surgery has already resumed in areas of China less hard hit by the virus and the lockdown which began in January. "It’s pleasing to see that for children in China the delays look like it will be only be a few months," said Howitt.

"A child born with hearing loss is a neurological emergency. A child born with hearing loss isn’t getting the parts of their brain that are there for hearing stimulated with sound. The quicker that gets stimulated with sound the quicker that part of the brain learns what sound is, learns what speech is and to wire itself for speech and hearing," said the Cochlear President.

Cochlear is one of many firms in the audiology sphere whose business has been impacted by coronavirus measures. The firm services 600,000 implants in patients around the world with existing implants with yearly check-ups, but last week was forced to raise AU$930m from shareholders in emergency funds.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald