News and notices. Comm Eye Health Vol. 18 No. 56 2005. December 15, 2005

Video review. Ophthalmic instruments and equipment – their care and maintenance, Professor V Srinivisan and Dr RD Thulasiraj, Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology, 2005

Available as DVD and VHS video and VCD

Ophthalmic instruments and equipment – their care and maintenance, produced by the Instruments Maintenance Department of Aravind Eye Hospital in India, with funding from Sight Savers International, addresses a gap identified by the VISION 2020 agenda – development of technology. Currently, there is little practical visual information on the care and maintenance of ophthalmic equipment. This training resource provides the opportunity to see what can be done to ensure that commonly used ophthalmic equipment found at the district level is maintained to ensure a safe standard and prolonged use in the field. In a two-hour presentation, it combines short explanations, graphics, and video to create a comprehensive visual guidebook on the maintenance and repair of direct ophthalmoscope, streak retino­scope, indirect ophthalmoscope, slit lamp, operating microscope, keratometer, phaco machine, A Scan, Schiötz tonometer, optics cleaning, blood pressure apparatus and surgical instruments.

In addition, it provides clear illustrations on changing bulbs, battery maintenance and use of a multimeter when checking bulb and fuse life, cleaning of microscope optics, cleaning and rinsing the irrigation and aspiration tubes for a phacoemulsification machine, calibrating a Schiötz tonometer, and general care of the slit lamp. The user can watch how the piece of equipment is taken apart, cleaned and put back together again.

There is a very good section on the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of repairing and maintaining equipment and the importance of maintaining a supply of spare bulbs and other parts for equipment. This is often neglected and will prove to be a useful reminder to those involved in purchasing equipment.

It demonstrates the importance of having a clean working area with all necessary tools close at hand – an important aspect to remember when dealing with ophthalmic equipment. The sections are short and the disassembling and assembling of the equipment is rapidly and efficiently undertaken. It is perhaps a limitation that there are no slow action clips or repeats of more technically difficult areas, for example, lining up the mires in the keratometer or cleaning the monocular microscope piece. It is however quite easy to access the homepage in the DVD version to repeat sections. I therefore recommend using the DVD version, if possible. A limitation of the video version is that the user will need to use the counter to know where sections start and stop. It would be difficult to follow the steps while trying to carry out the procedure at the same time.

I would have liked a little more attention to sharpening and realigning instruments. Instrument repair takes time and is an art often involving the use of magnification to ensure that the instrument is repaired with detailed precision.
Ophthalmic instrument and equipment – their care and mainte­nance is an excellent learning tool to remind an already skilled person what tools are necessary before maintenance and repair work begins on any ophthalmic instrument. Projects should not assume that the DVD or video alone would solve their equipment problems. The visual guidebook is useful to staff who are already involved in equipment maintenance, have an interest and some pre-existing skills in this area, or who are undertaking an instrument technician course.

Users should be aware that the equipment being shown in the demonstrations is, at times, particular to that manufacturer or model. It would be advisable for the hospitals to understand that these are guidelines and that there may be manufacturing variations from those shown. It should be used in conjunction with the manufacturers recommendations on specific care and maintenance of equipment.

This resource will help to increase awareness of the need to create a system of regular planned preventive maintenance within eye units, particularly in hospitals without easy access to dedicated maintenance and repair facilities.

Ophthalmic instruments and equipment is available in various formats: DVD, VHS video and VCD. Those resident in India should apply to the Manager (Stores), Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai 625020, Tel: +91 (0) 452 535 6100 Ext 192, Fax: +91 (0) 452 253 0984, Email: ARAVIND@ARAVIND.ORG Those residing outside India should contact ICEH (address on page 118). Email: SUE.STEVENS@LSHTM.AC.UK Price: Indian Rs500 or UK £7 plus postage and packaging.

News and notices in Comm Eye Health Vol. 18 No. 56 2005 –