Each day some of Victoria’s sickest babies and infants are admitted to the Butterfly Ward at the RCH, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with many teams from across the hospital coming together to provide specialist care. One of the teams caring for these babies is the Ophthalmology Department.
Through Good Friday Appeal support, RCH Ophthalmologists will have access to the latest equipment and technology, with the upgrade of a vital tool used in screening for eye disease in newborns, known as a RETCAM.
Using the RETCAM, clinicians are able to take digital photos of structures inside the eye to screen for paediatric eye conditions. The device will also play a pivotal role in how a patient’s evolving eye disease is managed. For example, for children with retinoblastoma, an eye cancer that develops in the retina, the RETCAM can be indispensable in detecting changes in the retina which can progress from sight-affecting to life threatening. The current system has been in use at the RCH since 2002 with almost 6,000 babies already directly benefiting from this sight-saving technology.