Monday, November 24, 2014

Getting to Know.. Cochlear Implants

The FDA first gave approved the use of cochlear implants in the US during of December 1984.

The first successful human implant for hearing was performed in Memphis by surgeon John Shea.

At first, only profoundly deaf people were potential implant patients. That has changed because the electrodes threaded into the inner ear have become much smaller over time. Now, there’s less chance of damaging healthy tissue during the operation.

About 70,000 people in the U.S. have received cochlear implants, according to the FDA.

Some 250,000 people worldwide have received cochlear implants.

Doctors implanted cochlear devices in about 17,000 people worldwide last year.

The implants can cost $25,000 and the surgery can run as equally high.

About 12% of students at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut have cochlear implants. A decade ago only 3% of students had the devices.

More than 80 percent of children who are or were hearing impaired now attend their local schools. Just a couple decades ago, 80 percent of hearing impaired children attended deaf schools.

Only about one in four of the million or so deaf people in the US are considered good candidates for an cochlear implants, according to The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

It's estimated that some 100,000 people have one cochlear implant but only 5,000 have two.

Children with two cochlear implants gain language skills similar to hearing children within a couple of years, according to a 2011 study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Advanced Bionics recalled the HiRes 90K implant in 2010 after two patients suffered from severe pain and overly loud sounds.

Australian company Cochlear, LTD voluntarily recalled its Nucleaus 5 unit in the fall of 2011 because moisture caused a few of the implants to shut down.