From Deafness Forum Australia's November 2023 'One in Six' magazine:
Calls for National Regulation of Audiologists: Townsville hospital audiology failures prompt millions in compensation.
Reported in this article by Andrew Messenger for The Guardian, The Queensland government will pay more than $2.2m to families of 97 child patients of a hospital’s audiology unit.
Townsville University hospital’s audiology unit programmed cochlear implants in some children incorrectly, misdiagnosed others, and even conducted hearing tests on an infant who was asleep*, a damning independent review has found.
The clinic is the only public option for many patients in northern Queensland, who would otherwise be forced to travel to Brisbane for specialised care.
The clinic was poorly organised, staff were overworked, and key protocols did not appear to be followed, leading to poor outcomes, monitoring, measurement, and reporting.
An investigation was conducted and last week a report was published. Read the report. The Queensland government has promised to spend more than $2.2m compensating the families of 97 patients who required additional testing and follow-up care as a result of the errors.
Read the full article here
*A clarification from IAA: Most infant hearing tests such as ABR and OAEs are appropriately performed while the infant is asleep or in a quiet, restful state. Cortical testing (the test flagged in the report) is a specific verification measure requiring that the infant be awake.