Patients to benefit from new eye care technology

HALIFAX, Sept. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Nova Scotia's growing population of patients requiring advanced eye care received good news on Thursday, with the announcement of new, state-of-the-art eye imaging equipment for the Eye Care Centre at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. Spearheaded by the Freemasons of Nova Scotia's 'Believing is Seeing' fundraising campaign, the new Spectralis OCT equipment is expected to have a dramatic impact on the diagnosis and care for many eye patients.

"Simply put, this new tool will allow reproducible imaging of the retina in a patient's eye at a level of detail unheard of in past," said Dr. Alan Cruess, district chief of the Department of Ophthalmology at Capital Health. "It will allow more accurate and refined diagnosis and better and more accurate treatments than ever before. Without the efforts of the Freemasons and other donors to the QEII Foundation, we would not have this equipment, so we're extremely grateful for their efforts." Grand Master and Most Worshipful Barry Imber of the Freemasons of Nova Scotia, called the 'Believing is Seeing' campaign "the largest fundraising project undertaken by the Freemasons of Nova Scotia and the Masonic Charitable Foundation in our 275 year history". In a presentation at the QEII on Thursday, the new equipment's capabilities were showcased. "It's gratifying to see what kind of impact this equipment can have on the over 60,000 patient visits the eye centre receives each year," said Imber.

Spectralis OCT provides caregivers with unparalleled imagery of the inside of the human eye, capturing 40,000 scans per second and creating 3D, full colour imagery of the retina. Whether its glaucoma, pre-op surgical assessment or therapy, confidently detecting and assessing small changes may influence a patient's treatment decision. The newly acquired technology addresses this concern and is easily able to track the eye and guide physicians to the selected location within the eye. "It is a high resolution highly safe laser scan of the human eye," said Dr. Cruess, who estimated that about 40% of patients coming to the Eye Care Centre have problems within the retina. The total project costs for the equipment were estimated at $200,000.

SOURCE QEII FOUNDATION

For further information:

Steve Jennex, APR
Communications Director, QEII Foundation
(902) 473-5591

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