Posted on December 1st, 2006
Our Information Evening was attended by approximately 25 people, which was a slightly lower attendance than expected. However it was apparent from the many questions from the floor that the topics covered by both speakers were of huge interest and relevance to those in attendance. The contributions of both speakers were very well received and appreciated by the audience.
See photos of the evening in our Galleryâ€¦
First to speak was Mr. Patrick Sheahan, Ear Nose & Throat Consultant with a special interest in Cleft, Childrenâ€™s University Hospital, Temple Street & St. Jamesâ€™s Hospital. His topic was middle ear disease in cleft lip and palate. He covered the different types of middle ear disease and the different treatment options available. He spoke of the factors relating to cleft and the results of various studies of the incidence of middle ear disease amongst children born with a cleft palate. He stated how â€˜glue earâ€™, i.e. fluid in the middle ear (OME), is very common amongst all children, not just those with a cleft. He pointed to a London-based study that indicated that 92% of children with cleft palate under 18 months have â€˜glue earâ€™. His own study with Mr. Blayney (2003) reported that 29% of children with cleft palate reported never to have had ear problems. So research results do vary. The peak age of the incidence of problems is 4-6 years.
He summarised by stating that OME is almost universal in infants with clft palate, and that there is little tendency for OME to resolve spontaneously in young children with cleft palate. He covered the advantages and disadvantages of grommets, which he stated do not correct the underlying problem. Grommets are very effective in covering hearing loss in the short -term (9-12 months). He posed the question, is it better to be aggressive or conservative with grommet insertion, given the increased risk of scarring of the eardrum and permanent perforation?
Some of his conclusions: middle ear disease is very common in cleft palate and V.P.I. - there is no increased incidence of middle ear disease in cleft lip - glue ear very common in children aged 2-6 years - children with cleft palate tend to have more persistent problems with glue ear - short period of â€˜watchful waitingâ€™ may be beneficial prior to grommet insertion - children may reuire less grommets, thereby posing less risk of complications - a minority of children with cleft palate will ahve persistent problems into teenage years.
Next up was Ms Anne McGillivary, Cleft Co-Ordinator for the Childrenâ€™s University Hospital, Temple Street. Anneâ€™s topic was the management of cleft lip and palate: a personal and professional perspective. Annâ€™s son was born with a cleft lip and palate and is now in his late â€˜teens.
Anne gave an overview of the Cleft Service and the Dublin Treatment Centre, which covers three hospitals; St.Jamesâ€™s, Crumlin and Temple Street. She discussed the various specialists involved in the multidisciplinary core team and others specialists which can be called upon as need arises. She outlined the role of the Cleft Coordinator and developments nationally and internationally. She spoke of â€˜integrated care pathwaysâ€™ and record management. She covered the various questions on the minds of new parents.
Anne also discussed at some length her and her sonâ€™s personal experiences - the various surgeries, the pleasant surprises as well as the worries, and the amazing attitude of her son in dealing with the fact of his cleft, yet living a very full and rewarding life. She said how as he got into his teenage years his wishes became paramount in regards to the treatment he wanted, when he wanted it, or not as the case may be. From her perspective, it was important to know early on how this was a correctable condition. Anneâ€™s personal account was invaluable and the attention from the floor was palpable.
Many thanks to both speakers for giving of their time and imparting some valuable insights and knowledge to a most appreciative audience.
The 2006 Annual General Meeting preceded the Information Evening. This saw the presentation of the annual accounts and the re-election of Georgina Wade as a Director of the company. This was followed briefly by the chairâ€™s summation of the past yearâ€™s events and activities and outline of the plan for the forthcoming year.
Select link below to see photos of the evening.
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