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Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital Cochlear Implant Programming Errors

Mar 22, 2023

AudA Media Statement

Audiology Australia (AudA) is aware of internal cochlear implant programming errors currently under investigation at the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

It is understood programming errors resulted in failure to correctly program cochlear implants in one in four implant recipients, leaving at least 30 children in the hospital’s program at risk of lifelong speech and developmental delays.

AudA Board President, Dr Barbra Timmer, says the errors are concerning and the South Australian Government’s announcement that it will launch an independent external review is an important step in getting answers for the families affected.

“For many children with hearing loss, cochlear implants play a critical role in allowing hearing of early sounds vital to speech and development. While rare, that these errors were able to happen is of serious concern and it is vital we understand what occurred and ensure it does not happen again.”

As investigations continue, Dr Timmer says the priority for AudA remains supporting those impacted as they navigate possible lifelong delays and the need for support.

“We will support current and future investigations to ensure that these children and their families receive the support and answers they need. We hope the findings of this investigation will be made public so that AudA can act on any learnings from this case that impact the profession of audiology.”

Audiology Australia CEO, Dr Tony Coles also expressed support for the children and families affected saying AudA would continue to monitor the state government’s review with strong interest and closely examine any resulting recommendations.

“Our thoughts are first and foremost with those who have been impacted by these errors. The health and safety of children receiving audiological care is paramount; we will therefore monitor this investigation and any subsequent findings with continued interest.”

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