The Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) Foundation is pleased to partner with the Lions Club International to raise the final $100,000 required to purchase a sight-saving Retcam for the FMC Neonatal Unit.
A Retcam at FMC will assist doctors to better diagnose and treat Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) which if untreated can cause irreversible blindness.
Nearly 1300 babies from across South Australia are cared for in the FMC Neonatal Unit each year, which is home to one of only two Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the state.
Babies come to the FMC Neonatal Unit each year from Adelaide's southern suburbs, rural South Australia and patients from the Victorian border and the Northern Territory who have been airlifted to FMC.
Of these, approximately 120 babies are less than 32 weeks gestation or less than 1500 grams and are at risk of developing Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). ROP occurs when the development of a baby’s eyes is disrupted and the blood vessels on the retina either stop growing or grow abnormally. This disruption can cause a loss of eyesight.
A Retcam will enable doctors to do real-time monitoring of the babies’ eye development so that decisions to monitor or treat the disease can be done efficiently with photographic documentation of the disease progression or improvement.
Children having severe disease and needing treatment need close monitoring every 3-4 days and need an average of 8-10 episodes of screening.
Flinders Neonatal Ophthalmologist, Dr Deepa Taranath said the Retcam would also benefit other children with congenital eye problems, patients with ocular tumours, and adult ICCU patients.
At a cost of $177,000, a Retcam is a large target for the FMC Foundation, and fundraising will continue until that amount is achieved.
In December 2012 Erica Modra, wife of former Adelaide Crow Tony Modra, helped launch the drive to raise funds to purchase a Retcam. This campaign has raised $47,000 to date.
In December 2013 Rob van Driel launched the Daddy’s Little Legend Retcam Appeal, which has raised a further $22,000, and his story and efforts have garnered the attention of media and parenting magazines across the country.
The Flinders Medical Centre Foundation is also contributing a further $8,000 raised through general donations and fundraising for the Neonatal Unit.
The Lions Club of Noarlunga Morphett Vale has raised $2,500 so far towards the $100,000 remaining through the sale of a donated painting.
Members are seeking to continue fundraising across South Australia and also internationally through the Lions Club International 201C2 RETCAM Appeal.