AAO 2023: Paul Runge and his ROP treatments in the Ukraine

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Paul Runge, MD, FACS, spoke with Ophthalmology Times about his time in Ukraine treating retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and implementing the Norlase Lion laser at this year's American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting.

Paul Runge, MD, FACS, spoke with Ophthalmology Times about his time in Ukraine treating retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and implementing the Norlase Lion laser at this year's American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting.

Video Transcript

Editor's note - This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Paul Runge, MD, FACS:

Hello, I'm Dr. Paul Runge. I've been working in western Ukraine over the last year and a half at a children's hospital, primarily with treating retinopathy of prematurity. We have introduced the new Norlase Lion laser, which has made a dramatic improvement in the way this condition is treated in the Ukraine. The Norlase Lion is the first laser of its type to be deployed in the Ukraine. And we treated 3 babies last week, and the ophthalmologist I worked [with] there Tetyana [Gavrylyshyn, MD] who's a pediatric ophthalmologist, she said that it was the best treatment she has ever seen and that the baby we treated would most likely not have responded if we had used the previous laser she had been using. So it's made a remarkable change.

Over the last 3 years, she has been using an 810 nanometer red laser, and now we've shifted to, over the last 6 months, the Norlase diode 522 green laser. So, we've been really extremely happy with not only the results, but what we've been what we've been able to accomplish. The other thing I've done with the laser is we've been teaching medical students how to use it, how to use an indirect ophthalmoscope and just to give them something practical to do, so it's been a lot of fun for them, and I was able to demonstrate the laser for about 150 medical students, fourth year medical students. So, it's been a remarkable experience, and I just returned from the Ukraine a few days ago, and I'll be going back in about a month. So you know, appreciate everybody's support for the Ukraine. We're still struggling, and we can use all the help we can get. Thank you very much.

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