MedWatch- CCMH’s annual Starlight Country concert raised enough money for a NICU retina camera

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Thanks to generous donations and money raised at this year's Starlight Country concert, Comanche County Memorial Hospital's NICU now has a new retina camera to examine premature baby's eyes. Doctors say it is another step towards providing the best care possible.

The retina camera is a device that takes pictures of the area in the back of the eye called the retina.

"Ret cam is a perfect piece of equipment that allows us to not only look for fun, but it allows us to examine retina in case we're dealing with some problems." Neonatologist Dr. Vadim Ivanov says when a baby is born prematurely, their retinas are not fully developed. So, the ret cam is able to catch and identify problems early enough, so doctors are able to treat them.

"If that retina has to grow in conditions of excessive oxygen or infection or other problems, quite frankly doesn't grow right, which eventually could lead to blindness." Dr. Ivanov says having this piece of equipment here at CCMH, is beneficial to patients who live in Southwest Oklahoma. "Otherwise, if this ret cam was not available, those babies would have to travel to those places where a specialist practices. Which, in our case, is Oklahoma City."

Laura Morroni had her baby girl on July 4th this year, at just 31 weeks old. Little Cecilia has already undergone two retina exams, one in Oklahoma City, and one here at CCMH. Morroni and her family live here in Lawton, so she is thankful that they can now get the exams done close to home.

"It's really wonderful to be able to do it in Lawton because I can actually be home. My husband's here. We don't have to travel an hour and a half up to OU to be able to do the exam. So, it's really nice to have it just in our backyard."

Morroni says the exams are a little scary to watch, but she knows her baby is in good hands.

"I'm really glad she's able to get them and double check to make sure her eyes are good and developing properly the way they should be." Morroni and Cecilia have been at CCMH for a little over a week now, and she says her experience has been great so far. "The nurses have been incredible. Everybody has just been so friendly and very attentive to her, so it's been great."

Dr. Ivanov says he is excited and hopes this retina camera will only continue to make their patients happy.

"This is a really great step toward improvements of care at Comanche County Memorial Hospital...and it improves our capability of providing appropriate care for our babies."

The Retina Camera was purchased through funds raised by the CCMH foundation from the Starlight Country Concert. They were able to raise more than $230,000. The funds will help purchase warming beds and renovate the labor and delivery rooms.

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