Cochlear Implants

Peter Richardson prichard at LINFIELD.EDU
Thu Nov 14 22:11:41 UTC 2002

My friend Fred Farrior, who teaches ASL here, sent this on in reply to the
query about cochlear implants.



It is same story in the past.  Have you seen the videotape "Sound and

I think this article might be interesting for you.



Government Warns on Ear Implants Thursday, July 25, 2002
Last updated at 11:25:53 AM PT

At least 13 people with cochlear implants to restore their hearing have
come down with meningitis, including two preschoolers who died, the
government said Thursday - warning that the implants might allow an
infection to fester deep in the ear. In addition to the U.S. illnesses,
health authorities are investigating at least another dozen meningitis
cases and seven deaths among cochlear implant recipients in other
countries. The Food and Drug Administration so far has found no evidence
that the implants are contaminated, stressed medical device chief Dr.
David Feigal. Any material implanted in the body, from heart valves to
artificial joints, can allow infections to fester that the body
otherwise could clear, he explained.Some deaf patients have inner-ear
abnormalities that predispose them to meningitis by letting bacteria
build up near the brain even without a cochlear implant. But the
implants may prove an additional risk factor, Feigal said. So the FDA on
Thursday issued an alert to doctors urging them to report any additional
uspicious meningitis cases - and urging that they aggressively treat ear
infections in patients who have cochlear implants and
make sure that child patients are properly vaccinated against
meningitis.The meningitis cases appear to be caused by a bacterial
infection that can be prevented with a vaccine called Prevnar, which the
government now recommends that all children get by age 2. The 13 U.S.
patients ranged in age from 21 months to 63 years old. The two children
who died were between ages 2 and 3. Meningitis is most dangerous to the
very young and the elderly. About 22,000 Americans have cochlear
implants, which send auditory signals to the brain to restore hearing in
people with certain types of hearing loss. They are supposed to get
preventive antibiotics during the implantation, the FDA said.

Quoting Peter Richardson <prichard at>:

> I thought you two might like to weigh in on this one. Just write to
> the
> "To:" address below.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 12:02:51 -0800
> From: Seth Thatcher <snatchcat at YAHOO.COM>
> Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Cochlear Implants: The Death of Sign Language?
> I read an article in Issues and Contraversies over the recent
> advances in
> hearing aid technology.  Cochlear implants seem to be getting more
> popular
> and made more affordable for the general public, and some experts
> speculate that the continuation of implants within new born deaf
> children
> will eventually end deaf culture with the elimination of sign
> language.
> Is this feasible?  It seems that sign language is a constant means
> of
> communication throughout all society, and not confined to the deaf.
> The
> study also mentioned that other experts in linguistics claim that
> regardless of how many implants get performed, sign language will
> remain a
> part of the children and families who have the procedure.  I'm still
> wavering on the issue: while I find it fascinating that one day our
> society could end deafness, it seems that it is not worth the price
> of
> ending a language.  I was curious as to the opinions of those in the
> discussion group on this issue.
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