Exploring and Expanding Cochlear Implant Candidacy
Ramsden, Gordon, Aschendorff, and colleagues (2012) released the "European Bilateral Pediatric Cochlear Implant Forum Consensus Statement" which states:
"Currently we feel that the infant or child with unambiguous cochlear implant candidacy should receive bilateral cochlear implant simultaneously as soon as possible after definitive diagnosis of deafness to permit optimal auditory development; an atraumatic surgical technique designed to preserve cochlear function, minimize cochlear damage, and allow easy, possibly repeated re-implantation is recommended."
The authors note that more than 25 percent of children implanted younger than three years have received bilateral implants worldwide, sequential bilateral cochlear implantation provides improved speech detection and improved understanding in background noise and improved spatial hearing in children. The authors say these attributes provide enough benefit to make bilateral cochlear implants cost effective (with respect to unilateral cochlear implants). With regard to language performance, Ramsden, Gordon, Aschendorff, and colleagues report children implanted prior to age 12 months were considered comparable to their normal-hearing peers and 80% (of the group reported) attended mainstream schools, where their performance continued to demonstrate improvement over time.
For More Information, References and Recommendations
Ramsden JD, Gordon K, Aschendorff A, Borucki L., Bunne M, Burdo S, Garabedian N, Grolman W, Irving R, Lesinski-Schiedat A, Loundon N, Manrique M, Martin J, Raine C, Wouters J, Papsin BC. (2012) European Bilateral Pediatric Cochlear Implant Forum Consensus Statement. Otology & Neurotology 33:561-565.