Machine to help save babies’ sight

A Retcam machine, used to help save the sight of premature babies with  Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)

A Retcam machine, used to help save the sight of premature babies with Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)

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Eye specialists at the Royal Preston Hospital have been given funding for new equipment that can help save the sight of premature babies.

Consultant Ophthalmologist Shveta Bansal secured £47,750 for Retcam machine from the charity Baby Beat.

Retcam is a highly-specialised camera that takes digital images of the retina in babies, who are at risk of developing a sight-threatening condition known as Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) - if they’re below a certain birth weight. Failure to diagnose and treat the condition in a timely manner results in blindness.

Currently, premature babies at Preston and Chorley hospitals endure weekly retinal examinations and in advanced cases, multiple trips to treatment centres in Manchester and Liverpool. With this new machine, images can be taken in Preston, often avoiding need for travel.

Shveta said: “This camera will enable us to significantly improve the service we provide for premature babies and their families, and for this we are very grateful.”