University of Edinburgh

Prematurity and Vision

Friday 3 March 2006

Scottish Sensory Centre, Edinburgh


The course covered aspects of visual impairment and related difficulties experienced by children who were born prematurely. A multidisciplinary team of speakers brought their perspectives on the spectrum of difficulties these children and their families experience, and some practical suggestions as to how these children may be helped. Each speaker gave an informal talk, followed by an interactive discussion between course participants and the panel of speakers.
The course was led by Dr Brian Fleck, Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist, and the speakers included:

Dr Gopi Menon, Consultant Neonatologist at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Dr Menon runs a follow up clinic for children who were born prematurely and will speak about the range of health difficulties these children encounter.

Dr Lyn Cresswell, Consultant Community Paediatrician with a special interest in Visual Impairment. Dr Cresswell runs a functional visual assessment service with members of the visual impairment education service and will speak about the range of functional visual impairment difficulties experienced by these children.

Dr Mary McRae, Specialist Registrar in Ophthalmology
Jeffrey Mason, Low Vision Optometrist
Linda Bain, Mobility Teacher, Royal Blind School, Edinburgh
Grace Stuart, Parent Counsellor, Royal Blind School Edinburgh.
Mairi Graham, Visual Impairment Education Service
Elizabeth Wright, Associate Specialist in Paediatric Ophthalmology
John Ravenscroft, Co-ordinator, SSC and Manager, VI Scotland


10.20 am Introduction - John Ravenscroft

10.30 am Life in an incubator. The traumas of life in a neonatal intensive care unit - Brian Fleck

Screening and treatment of acute Retinopathy of Prematurity - Elizabeth Wright

Acute Brain injury in premature infants - Brian Fleck

Communicating with parents in a NICU - Elizabeth Wright

Life outside hospital. What do the families of visually impaired children go through? - Grace Stuart

Measuring vision in ex-premature children - Mary MacRae

Cerebral Visual Impairment - Lyn Cresswell

1.30 pm Functional Visual Assessment - Lyn Cresswell

Other health issues. How healthy are children who were born prematurely? - Gopi Menon

How can we help? Glasses and magnifiers - Jeff Mason

Getting around - Linda Bain

In the classroom - Mairi Graham

After school. Ex-premature adults - Brian Fleck

Summary of Learning Points. Panel and Participants

3.45 pm Course evaluation and close