April 12, 1999

Nancy Lawrence
Media Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 77642


Media invited to attend showcase on Cochlear Implantation and Intraoperative Monitoring during Neurosurgery

(LONDON, Ontario) - The Patient Care Committee of the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) Board of Directors proudly showcases the The Clinical Neurological Sciences Program at LHSC with an open house on Tuesday, April 13, 1999. The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Auditorium A, third floor, University Campus, LHSC.

The Clinical Neurological Sciences Program comprises a number of sub-specialities in Neurology and Neurosurgery with specialized linkages with Neuro-ENT (Ear Nose Throat)/ Otolaryngology, Neuro-Ophthalmology and Neuro-Psychiatry.

The clinical specialties which will be highlighted at this event include: Interdisciplinary Cochlear Implant Team and Intra-operative Auditory Monitoring during neurosurgery. The common theme of these two presentations is the focus on collaboration amongst interdisciplinary team members to provide specialized patient care at LHSC.

The Cochlear Implant Program at LHSC is one of five regional programs in Ontario. The other programs are in Ottawa (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Civic Hospital), and Toronto (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Hospital for Sick Children).

These regional programs were first funded by the Ministry of Health in 1993. During the first five years, 200 adults and children from across Ontario received implants. Cochlear Implant technology has enormous benefits for hearing-impaired children's development and adults' quality of life. The funding in 1993 allowed LHSC to perform 12 cochlear implants annually for Ontario patients. Additionally, patients from Eastern Canada have received implants in London.

The roles of the Audiologist, Auditory-Verbal Therapist, and Surgeon will be highlighted. The interdisciplinary contributions of Nursing, Social Work and Psychology and teachers of the hearing-impaired are also very important. The patient and family are at the centre of the care that is provided by all team members.

The collaborative roles of the Audiologist, Surgeons, Operating Room Nurses and Anesthetists are the focus of the second presentation describing Intra-operative monitoring during neurosurgery.

The ability to monitor neuro-physiological functioning to detect, predict and preserve post-operative auditory and facial nerve functioning are very important patient care outcomes. Through a video presentation of a patient who will undergo surgery to remove a tumor, the capability of using specialized sensory monitoring equipment is highlighted. The Audiologist monitors auditory function during surgery and can detect a compromise in auditory function during surgery with the goal to preserve hearing post-operatively.

The collaborative role of the Audiologist in the OR with the Surgeon and OR team has recently been introduced during this past year at the LHSC.

The LHSC interdisciplinary teams are one component of the specialized care the patient and family receives. The educational and community health care needs are also key to the success and quality of life of our patients.