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Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response or Auditory Brainstem Response (Sedated)

Article Translations: (Spanish) (Somali)


Check-in time:__________________ 

Check in location:

Children’s - Minneapolis
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Children’s - St. Paul
345 North Smith Avenue
St Paul, MN 55102
Children’s Minnetonka
6050 Clearwater Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55343


Please bring your child’s current insurance card(s) with you.  If you have questions about your insurance coverage for these services, or any special referral requirements, please contact your insurance company directly. They are best able to advise you about the specifics of your plan.

What is this test?

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) are two names for the same test. It is a way for the audiologist to measure how the ear is receiving sound and sending it to the brain through the auditory nerve. Unlike standard hearing tests, it does not involve a voluntary response from the patient.

Why does my child need it?

For children who are unable to show us reliably when they hear a sound, this test helps us determine the softest levels at which each ear is able to receive sound and send it to the brain. The information from this test allows you and the audiologist to plan the best treatment for your child.

How is the test done?

It is important that children lay very still and relaxed with their eyes closed during the test to get the best results. Most children are not able to be still enough when they are awake. Because of this, children are usually given sedation (medicine to make them drowsy and fall asleep). See the education sheet “Sedation for a procedure.”

The type of medicine used to sedate your child will depend on age and weight. The doctor will decide which medicine is beat for your child.

Once your child is sleeping, the test will be started. It does not hurt. Sounds are sent through a small, soft earphone placed in each ear. The responses are picked up through small electrode stickers placed on the forehead and behind each ear. The audiologist uses a computer to read and record the brain’s response to sounds.

What should we do before the test?

There will be special eating and drinking instructions to ensure the safety of your child during the procedure. You will receive a call a few days before the test to discuss restrictions for food and liquids.

We encourage parents to bring a favorite toy, blanket, or pacifier along to help your child feel more comfortable.

If your child has a fever, cough, or illness, the doctor may determine that it is not safe for your child to have the procedure at that time. Please call us and let us know if your child is sick.

What can I expect after the test?

The audiologist will review the results and recommendations with you and send a report to your child’s doctor.

After receiving sedation, children need to be monitored by a registered nurse until awake. You will receive some instructions for care at home.

Special instructions

  • Your child may not eat or drink prior to check-in based on these time frames:
    • NO solids for 8 hours prior.
    • NO formula or milk for 6 hours prior.
    • NO breast milk for 4 hours prior.
    • NO clear liquids for 3 hours prior.
  • You will also need a history and physical completed by your childs primary doctor within 30 days of the sedated procedure.

Questions ?

If you have questions about the test, please call the audiology clinic.
For more information about sedation call:  __________________________________

Reviewed by Audiology 4/2018

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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