Donation enables enhanced eye screening for
newborns at Darlington
Babies needing specialist eye tests at Darlington Memorial
Hospital are benefitting from the latest enhanced screening
equipment thanks to a donation from the Friends of the
The Friends organisation has donated a 'retcam shuttle'
machine to the special care baby unit at the hospital. The
retcam is the latest in specialist technology designed to take
digital images of the retina in newborns.
Dr Sally Buckley, consultant ophthalmologist said: "We are
very grateful to the Friends of the Hospital for this generous
donation. Previously we would carry out eye examinations on
newborns manually and record our findings after the exam through
notes and diagrams from memory. The new retcam equipment will make
a fantastic difference in the management of patients. It provides a
much less stressful examination for the newborn and is a much more
accurate and sophisticated screening tool for us as
"As a screening centre one of the conditions we would be
looking for is Retinopathy of Prematurity, an eye disease that
affects prematurely-born babies. This can develop extremely rapidly
so having this enhanced screening and access to a library of
digital images will make a real difference. We refer patients to
the RVI or James Cook hospital for treatment so having digital
images available means we can seek advice from these treatment
centres when there is a borderline case and take guidance on the
most appropriate pathway of care for that patient."
Retcam is a wide angle pediatric retinal imaging system,
which is light and easily maneuverable, and produces digital images
which appear in real time and enables video capture.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community