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KPH gets laser eye treatment machine

Published:Monday | August 14, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Consultant ophthalmologist and representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints global charities, Dr Jesse Hunsaker (left), explains the features of lens used in laser eye treatment to CEO of the Kingston Public and Victoria Jubilee Hospitals Errol Greene and human resource director for the Kingston Public Hospital, Pauline Roberts.

Patients affected by the eye conditions glaucoma and cataract will now have improved access to corrective surgeries at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).

This is through the donation of a state-of-the art laser machine to the facility by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (LDS) global charities.

Valued at US$70,000, the machine provides Selecta Duet Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) and yttrium aluminium garnet (YAG) ophthalmic laser treatment for medical conditions within the anterior segment of the eye.

This includes glaucoma, a condition where increased pressure within the eyeball causes gradual loss of sight; and cataract, which occurs when the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.

The machine is to be installed shortly.

Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at KPH, Dr. Angela Mattis, explained that the machine offers YAG and SLT photo disruption capabilities in one unit.

SLT is a type of laser surgery used to help lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients, while YAG lasers can be used in both glaucoma and cataract surgeries.

"It is a combo. It is a YAG, which is a special type of laser that disrupts the membrane so it becomes crystal clear again. The SLT is the actual mechanism that treats the glaucoma. It helps drain the fluid from the eye and lowers the pressure, which damages the eye nerves. It does two treatments," she pointed out.

... State-of-the-art equipment will cut waiting time - CEO

Chief executive officer for the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), Errol Greene, expressed gratitude for the new state-of-the art laser machine donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (LDS) global charities.

He said it would go a far way in providing essential ophthalmic services for the hundreds of patients that access the hospital's services.

"The eye clinic is by far the largest clinic at the KPH. We see hundreds of patients a day. On an average day, we see up to 500 patients daily. This laser will go a far way in speeding up the waiting time for surgeries, and the end result will be an enhanced quality of life for those who use these services," he noted.


Helping KPH since 2012


Consultant ophthalmologist and a representative for LDS Charities, Dr Jesse Hunsaker, said the humanitarian organisation has been providing essential medical equipment and training to the KPH since 2012.

"We like to focus our efforts on helping those who provide care to the underserved ... those who don't have health insurance, those who are poor and have significant health needs," Dr Hunsaker said.

Since 1985, LDS Charities has provided assistance to people in 189 countries.

The donation, made through the long-standing partnership between the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) and the global charity, is one of several initiatives aimed at providing high-quality care throughout the public-health system.