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Paediatric audiology care (12HDC00446)
Download Paediatric audiology care (12HDC00446) (PDF 37Kb)
(12HDC00446, 26 June
Audiologist ~ District health board ~ Audiology ~ Hearing
loss ~ Inadequate testing and diagnostic services ~ Documentation ~
Vicarious liability ~ Rights 4(1), 4(2)
A WellChild nurse referred a three-year-old girl to the
Audiology Department at a public hospital because her parents had
raised concerns about her hearing, speech and frequent ear
infections. She was seen by an audiologist. An audiogram indicated
bilateral conductive hearing loss. The audiologist referred the
girl to the Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic for further
management. Grommets were inserted.
Following further testing, the audiologist reported his results
as bilateral hearing at the bottom end of the normal range with
minimal asymmetry between the ears. There was no arrangement for a
A hearing check at school identified hearing loss in both ears.
The girl was seen by a private audiologist who found significant
right-sided sensorineural hearing loss, as well as mild low to mid
frequency hearing loss in the left ear.
It was held that the audiologist failed to perform cross-checks
and arrange for adequate follow-up of the girl. Accordingly, he did
not provide services with reasonable care and skill and breached
Right 4(1). His documentation of the girl's care was below expected
standards and, accordingly, he also breached Right 4(2).
The District Health Board did not take reasonable steps to
prevent the girl's rights being breached by failing to ensure that
the audiologist was properly supervised, failing to provide peer
support or checks on the audiologist's performance, and providing
suboptimal facilities and equipment. Accordingly, the District
Health Board was found to be vicariously liable for the
audiologist's breach of Right 4(1).
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