The approaches to the prevention of vision/eye conditions and promotion of good visual health for children require very different approaches to those used in adult services | The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
This briefing document will help inform commissioners of the key issues to consider when commissioning services for:
Children with conditions that cause (or may cause) visual impairment (VI), severe visual impairment (SVI) or blindness (BL) (WHO definition i.e. corrected acuity in better eye of LogMAR 0.5 or worse)
Children with common eye conditions that cause (or may cause) unilateral or milder reduction in vision
Children with isolated refractive error alone or those with mild/acute/self-limiting conditions (e.g. conjunctivitis)
This briefing document sets out the themes and issues relevant to commissioning of ophthalmic services for children, on behalf of the Paediatric Sub-committee of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
Ammitzbøll, J. et al. BMC Pediatrics. Published: 1 December 2016
Background: Mental health problems are a major public health challenges, and strategies of early prevention are needed. Effective prevention depends on feasible and validated measures of screening and intervention. Previous research has demonstrated potentials for infant mental health screening by community health nurses (CHN) in existing service settings in Denmark. This study was conducted to describe the development of a service setting based measure to screen for infant mental health problems, to investigate problems identified by the measure and assess the validity and feasibility in existing public health settings.
Conclusions: The new measure shows potentials for infant mental health screening. However, further exploration of construct validity and reliability is needed.
The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) finds babies should not be screened for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Image shows nerve in skeletal muscle, showing dystrophin location.
Newborn babies should not be screened for the muscle wasting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, according to the UK’s independent expert screening committee. The current test available for the condition incorrectly identifies some babies as having the condition and misses others who go on to develop the disease.
NHS Behind the Headlines | Published online: 27 October 2016
A new study looked at the feasibility of screening for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited condition that affects around 1 to 2 in every 250 people in the UK. It can cause abnormally high cholesterol levels. It doesn’t usually cause any noticeable symptoms, but people with FH aged between 20 and 40 are 100 times more likely to have a heart attack than other people their age.
UK researchers tested 10,095 one-year-olds to explore the feasibility of screening for FH. They tested the toddlers at the same time they had routine vaccinations at the age of one. Researchers found 28 children with FH. The parents of children with FH were then also tested. The study found not all children with an FH mutation had high cholesterol, however, and some with high cholesterol did not have a known FH mutation. This means FH mutation testing alone would not be a useful screening test, so the researchers suggest testing cholesterol levels first. The approach used in the study does have the added benefit of identifying parents with FH who didn’t realise the condition ran in their family.
Once FH is diagnosed, it is relatively straightforward to treat through making lifestyle changes and taking drugs known to reduce cholesterol, mainly statins. This research will help inform the UK’s National Screening Committee when considering whether the benefits of screening for FH outweigh the harms.