Friday, 24 April 2020

Toddlers CI switched on by remote.

Undated handout photo issued by the University of Southampton of Prof Helen Cullington linking up with Margarida Cibrao-Roque to remotely switch on her cochlear implant. 18-month-old Margarida Cibrao-Roque who has been able to hear for the first time after medics became the first in the country to switch on a cochlear implant remotely because of Covid-19 restrictions. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday April 23, 2020. Audiologists at the University of Southampton set up a link-up over the internet in order to allow the device to be turned on for Margarida Cibrao-Roque despite their clinic being closed to patients. See PA story HEALTH Hearing. Photo credit should read: University of Southampton/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Toddler hears for the first time after having an implant fitted into her ear.

Young Margarida might have had to wait months to hear were it not for the audiologists’ ingenuity. A 18-month-old deaf girl became a pioneer after medics had to find a way around the lockdown to help her hear for the first time. Hearing experts fitted Margarida Cibrao-Roque with a cochlear implant before the coronavirus forced them to close their clinic, but a lengthy process was needed before it could be switched on. 

Cochlear implants are devices placed inside the inner ear during surgery, after which patients like Margarida need time to heal. The implant then needs to be activated gradually with careful testing and adjustments. Cochlear implants need to be activated gradually with continuous testing so as to not overwhelm the child. Audiologists tracked the toddler’s reaction and data from her implant remotely.

Audiologists at the University of Southampton set up an internet link so the toddler’s device could be switched on remotely at home in Camberley, Surrey – a first in the UK. Professor Hellen Cullington said: ‘Usually we do the switch-on of a cochlear implant at our clinic at the university but, with some technical creativity and some advice from colleagues in Australia, we were able to do everything necessary over the internet. 

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