Nearly every year since Retina Today relaunched as a global publication, we have devoted our March issue to pediatric retina. This cover focus has become one of my personal favorites for 2 reasons: A) Who doesn’t like kids? B) In the fast-paced retina subspecialty with so much happening in medical and surgical innovations for adults, it is a pleasure to be able to shine a spotlight on those who care for the most vulnerable and innocent among us.
Thanks to some pediatric retina specialists with whom I have had the pleasure of interacting, I have had experiences in the past year that have opened my eyes to the unique challenges, frustrations, and triumphs that these physicians face in treating children. In February 2013, Audina M. Berrocal, MD, of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, allowed me to shadow her while she made rounds at the Jackson Memorial Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). I have been in NICUs in the past, but I was astonished by how large this unit in Miami was and how tiny these babies were. I was also impressed with the care and kindness with which Dr. Berrocal and the staff treated these infants and their parents.
I also had the opportunity to observe R.V. Paul Chan, MD; Thomas Berenberg, MD, Dr. Chan’s retina fellow; and the attending physicians at Susrut Eye Hospital (Kolkata, India) as they screened children for disease during an ORBIS mission. A large proportion of children who came for treatment were diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and many had disease that was too far along to treat. One can only imagine the weight of the phrase “I can’t help you” to a parent hoping for a cure for their child’s condition. There is also equal weight to the frustration a physician must feel seeing blindness that could have been prevented had the condition been diagnosed and treated earlier.
The issue of Retina Today you hold in your hands—or are reading on your mobile device—was put together with tremendous assistance from Dr. Chan, who helped with planning the cover focus. Dr. Chan suggested many of the topics covered in this issue, and he helped us to find the best pediatric ophthalmologists and vitreoretinal specialists to provide up-to-date reviews and updates in these areas.
At Retina Today we are fortunate to have a strong and involved editorial advisory board, and this issue is a perfect example of how great content is achieved.
Rachel M. Renshaw