Cochlear, Limited CEO Dig Howitt has warned that coronavirus-related delays in surgeries for children born with hearing issues, may be detrimental to their ability to reach speech-language milestones in a timely fashion, according to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“A child born with hearing loss is a neurological emergency,” Howitt is quoted as saying in the article. “A child born with hearing loss isn’t getting the parts of their brain that are there for hearing stimulated with sound. The quicker that gets stimulated with sound the quicker that part of the brain learns what sound is, learns what speech is and to wire itself for speech and hearing. Earlier cochlear implantation for children born with hearing loss leads to them obtaining age-appropriate speech and language faster than delayed implantation.”

According to the article, pediatric surgeries to correct hearing problems have already resumed in China, mostly in the areas outside Hubei province, where the coronavirus was most prevalent.

Cochlear recently announced it would seek $930 million from its shareholders in light of significant earnings impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, the Herald reported. A portion of that, according to this article in the Herald, will encompass adverse litigation costs potentially totaling as much as $721 million. The Herald article speculates that Cochlear may be the first of several companies reeling from the financial devastation of COVID-19 to resort to “emergency equity raising.”

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald