What happens if my child’s cochlear implant stops working?
It is common for each component of your external device (processor, cable and headpiece) to need replacement over time. This is due to general wear and tear and is to be expected. The most common cause of faults within the sound processors is water damage. It is advised that you use your ‘dry box’ every night to keep the internal components dry.
It is extremely important that any problems with a processor or associated equipment are reported as soon as possible. Any delay in rectifying a problem and being without any sound for a period of time, may result in the need to reprogramme a processor. This in turn may affect how well you can hear or tolerate sounds for some time.
If your child’s cochlear implant stops working try replacing any parts you have a spare of. Listed below are the components of each company’s processor.
Advanced Bionics System – Naida
- Universal Headpiece (UHP)
- Earhook/T-mic and covers (if applicable)
- Microphone covers
Cochlear System – Nucleus 7/8
- Microphone covers
Spares to keep at home
All patients should have a spare of the following essential items at home:
- Lead/cable (one for each processor)
- Rechargeable battery
If you use your spare equipment at home during troubleshooting, please ensure you request a replacement, either from ourselves or direct from the manufacturer if you are signed up for their repair scheme.
Please remember that most parts of the speech processor are covered by a lengthy warranty. It is very important that you return any faulty equipment to validate this warranty.
If you are signed up to the company repair scheme they will send you packaging with your replacement in which to return the faulty items. If you get your spares from us then please return the faulty item to us with a note stating your name, address and replacement spare required.
Please try and keep up to date with your spares as changing a lead/cable can solve most problems and may prevent you having to come in to the hospital.
If troubleshooting with your available spare does not resolve the problem please either contact the company directly if you are signed up to their repair scheme (you will have been sent contact details through the post) or call our appointments and enquiries line on 01642 854068 to either discuss the problem or arrange a face to face repair appointment.
Items we do not maintain or replace
The items we are not able to replace are:
- Aqua kits
- Wireless accessories
If you have any problems with the above accessories or they need replacing, you need to contact the manufacturer directly regarding this.
Extra spares and accessories are available to purchase if required (please see below for further details). These are usually available either from the manufacturers, retail partners of the manufacturers or Connevans (see ‘useful contacts’).
The following items can be replaced under the terms of the company repair policies, or by us if you are not registered for a repair service:
- Dry box
- Dry bricks
- Battery chargers
- Any part of the device needed for day to day hearing
This is always subject to on-going review as new devices and equipment becomes available.
How do I obtain replacement equipment?
Company repair scheme – This is the most efficient way to manage your personal equipment from home. Your audiologist will have asked you to complete a consent form in order to register your processor with the company who have provided your internal cochlear implant and processor kit.
Should you need any replacement parts, there will always be someone at the company offices to receive your call and they will be able to provide replacement parts often within 24 hours if required.
Equipment is delivered via post or courier who will collect faulty items also. Items can be delivered to any specified address including your place of work and also offer a Saturday delivery. The company may also give advice regarding helping you to troubleshoot problems at home in order to isolate the problematic part.
If you have an appointment coming up, please make sure you contact the company for any replacement equipment before attending for your appointment.
Details of the company repair schemes can be found via their websites:
If troubleshooting with your available spare does not resolve the problem please call the appointments and enquiries line on 01642 854068 to either discuss the problem or arrange a face to face repair appointment.
If you have an appointment coming up and you require spares it would be helpful if you informed the team prior to your appointment as not all stock of components is kept at our offsite clinics.
All additional accessories provided by the company such as wireless accessories and aquakits are covered by a 12 month warranty. Within this time frame, if there is a fault with your accessory, you will need to contact the company in order to arrange a replacement.
If the fault occurs outside of the 12 month warranty period, you will still need to contact the company for a replacement but you will be expected to provide payment in order to maintain or replace the faulty or lost equipment.
Please be aware that the speech processors are very expensive and cost in the region of £5,000 each. It is therefore very important to have some way of securing it to your ear.
There are various options available to secure the processor, such as a ‘huggy’, ‘snugfit’, an ear mould or ‘Stick ‘n’ Stay’. Your clinician will go through the options with you in your first week of implant use.
Please also be aware that speech processors are regularly lost by putting it in a pocket or bag; please use your travel case.
If a processor is lost or damaged you will need to contact the NERCIP 01642 854068 where you will need to attend a clinic to complete a lost or damaged device form.
We do not currently charge for children’s lost processors, but as funding must be requested to replace the lost or damaged processor(s), this means the date for your child’s processor upgrade(s) will be delayed by 5 years i.e. they will have their processor(s) for a period of 10 years rather than 5 years.
Examples of damage due to neglect include:
- Exposure to excess moisture from showers, baths, swimming or rain.
- Damage from domestic appliances such as washing machines, microwaves or ovens
- Tampering with the device, such as gluing parts together or inserting the battery incorrectly
- Adding permanent decoration to a device by glue, paint or varnish
- Marks of damage through neglect or poor storage such as rust, grime, melted casing or teeth marks
- Poor or inappropriate cleaning of a device which causes irreparable damage
If your child is under the company repair schemes, you should then contact the company to ask for a replacement processor which you should receive within 24 hours.
If your child is under the NERCIP for repairs, we will then order a replacement processor for you which you will need to collect in person from the hospital. We will offer a loaner processor during the course of the replacement which may differ in colour depending on stock availability.
It may be possible to insure your processor against loss or damage with some home insurance providers. Patients are encouraged to contact insurance providers directly to enquire about this if they are keen to explore this option. If NERCIP are able to successfully recover the cost of the replacement processor from your insurance company there will be no penalties applied.