Children’s Miracle Network: Retina Cam

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The neonatal intensive care unit at Maynard Children’s Hospital, also known as the NICU, is where the most delicate babies who need the highest level of care and attention come.

Most of them are premature babies who are born locally in Greenville or from 28 other counties in the east.

Premature babies born under 30 weeks or that weigh less than 1,500 grams come into this world with many risks, including retinopathy of prematurity.

“Where the blood vessels of the retina do not form normally,” Dr. Ostrovsky, the Chief of Ophthalmology Services at ECU Health System explained.

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The retina contains the photoreceptors in the eye, making it crucial to see normally.

So, every day and every hour matters to babies born with this condition.

“Sometimes untreated, it can cause retinal detachment and blindness,” Dr. Ostrovsky said.

Now, imagine if doctors can detect conditions like this beforehand and ensure a life of healthy vision that is made possible with the retina cam.

Once the doctor instills numbing drops, dilating drops, and stabilizes the baby’s eyelid with a metal speculum, the retina cam can take high-resolution, 130-degree pictures in a matter of seconds.

“Create better images of the baby’s retina, allow us to follow the more reliably, also to create a more reliable follow-up for the babies as they continue their treatment,” Dr. Ostrovsky shared.

Those images then allow doctors to monitor and evaluate a baby’s eye health.

The retina cam can also be used on normal, full-term babies, who have gone through non-accidental trauma, or abuse.

“These images are not only important clinically, again, for monitoring the progression of how these kids feel after the trauma they sustained, but also medical-legally when these images are shown in front of a judge and jury,” Dr. Ostrovsky said.

As a pioneer in this revolutionary technology, the Maynard Children Hospital’s retina cam will not only change many life trajectories but also serve as a role model for many doctors and hospitals across the country.

You can ensure equipment like that is available for kids in the east when you make a donation to the Children’s Miracle Telethon this weekend on WITN.