Editorials

Cochlear implantation

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7020.1588 (Published 16 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1588
  1. Richard Ramsden
  1. Professor of otolaryngology Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL
  2. Consultant otolaryngologist Ferens Institute, University College London, London W1P 5FD
  1. John Graham
  1. Professor of otolaryngology Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL
  2. Consultant otolaryngologist Ferens Institute, University College London, London W1P 5FD

    A safe and cost effective treatment for profoundly deaf adults and children

    Last month saw the publication of a report by the Medical Research Council's Institute of Hearing Research on the evaluation of the national cochlear implant programme.1 Its authors, Summerfield and Marshall, report the results of a multicentre observational evaluation of the outcomes of implantation and set clear guidelines for clinicians who care for deaf people as well as for purchasers juggling the benefits and costs of this expensive treatment.

    A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is inserted into the inner ear of a totally deaf person to introduce orrestore the perception of sound. An external detachable component comprises a microphone, a small battery powered device for processing the signal, and an induction coil that transmits the refined signal through the skin to the implant. The notion that an electric current applied to the cochlea or to the auditory nerve might be perceived by the brain as sound is not new: Benjamin Franklin suggested the possibility 200 years ago. But the idea did not become a …

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