Cisplatin Ototoxicity in Children: Implications for Primary Care Providers

Jessica Helt-Cameron, MSN, MA, RN; Patricia Jackson Allen, MS, RN, PNP, FAAN


Pediatr Nurs. 2009;35(2):121-127. 

In This Article


As survival rates for childhood cancer continue to improve, there is a growing need for pediatric practitioners to offer health care surveillance for the long-term effects of chemotherapy, including cisplatin-induced ototoxicity, in primary care settings. Primary care clinicians can use distortion-product otoacoustic emissions testing to regularly screen childhood cancer survivors for cisplatin-induced sensorineural hearing loss. If evidence of hearing loss is present, clinicians must refer children and their families to an audiologist for a complete hearing evaluation. Permanent hearing impairments can be a traumatic discovery for the family. Primary care pediatric settings oversee children’s care and serve as support systems for the family. Pediatric clinicians need to be knowledgeable about current management options for hearing impairments in children. They need to educate families about local, state, and school resources, national organizations, and other support services that are available to help their child.