LONDON, ON, May 10, 2013 /CNW/ - On April 25, Kelly Dickson, from
Cambridge, Ontario became the first patient in North America to receive
the BONEBRIDGE™ - a bone conduction hearing implant. The surgery was
successfully performed at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) by Dr.
Sumit Agrawal and his surgical team. Today the hearing device was
activated - allowing Dickson to hear a full range of sounds.
"This is an exciting new treatment option for patients with certain
hearing impairments," says Agrawal. "The system includes an implant and
externally worn audio processor that together simulate the natural
BONEBRIDGE is new technology developed by MED-El Medical Electronics
that makes it possible for people with hearing impairments, including
conductive and mixed hearing losses or single-sided deafness, to hear a
full range of sounds.
The audio processor records sound and converts it into signals which are
transferred through the skin to the implant. The implant converts the
signals received into mechanical vibrations that are transmitted to the
surrounding bone. The bone then conducts these vibrations to the inner
ear where they are converted into nerve signals and transmitted as
impulses to the auditory nerve.
"Unlike older technology, the processor communicates wirelessly through
intact skin, which makes it very cosmetically appealing and
maintenance-free for patients," adds Agrawal.
Dickson has suffered hearing loss for four decades and was frustrated
with hearing aids. "I would eventually have to stop wearing hearing
aids because I would get ear infections. This gives me the opportunity
to be free of those," says Dickson.
"During activation of the device various parameters will be set to best
suit Kelly's individual hearing," says Kim Zimmerman, audiologist,
LHSC. "The device will improve access to sound, bring hearing into the
normal range and, for patients like Kelly, greatly reduce the impact of
ear infections on hearing."
At home, Dickson looks forward to better hearing her husband and
children, enjoying music more clearly and even listening to nature. As
a nurse, Dickson also looks forward to using her stethoscope again and
conversing with patients easily.
"This is an option that can help me and others," says Dickson. "I am
absolutely ecstatic this technology is now available in Canada."
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in
Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized
clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its
founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic
teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children's
Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care
Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes -
Children's Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research
Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London
Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and
national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around
the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre
cares for the most medically complex patients including critically
injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The
hospital's nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers
provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more
information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
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SOURCE: London Health Sciences Centre
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