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Welcome to the British Medical Laser Association
Brighton 2015
Save the date for the upcoming 33rd Annual Meeting of the BMLA, to be held in the Metropole Hotel, Brighton on the 16th and 17th April 2015.

This year promises pre-conference courses on Wednesday the 15th April, A conference dinner in the Royal Pavilion and a scientific programme full of medical, cosmetic and diagnostic applications of lasers and light sources.
 

For more information, go to: www.bmlaconference.co.uk




 
Eye damage caused by Laser Eye Pointers
Friday, 19 September 2014 13:13
A case series published by opthalmologists based in Sheffiled and Bolton has demonstrated the devastating consequences of misusing laser pointers.

Five children, aged 8-15 years were shown to have long term damage to their vision after playing with laser pointers.  One of the young patients, an eight year old boy, has been left with permanent laser scars, visible at the centre of his vision as a result of a laser beam momentarily being flashed in his eye for no more than a few seconds. This has dramatically reduced his vision which has dropped to 3/60 (normal vision is 6/6). He can now only read the largest letter on a standard Snellen chart from 3 metres, whereas a person with normal vision can do this from 60 metres.

 
fundus photograph showing retinal damage
Image showing retinal damage caused by a laser pointer.  Reproduced with kind permission from Mr Fahd Quhill.


Lead author of the study, Mr Fahd Quhill, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and Senior Lecturer at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, comments on the effect of these laser injuries, “Misuse of these laser products can lead to irreversible damage to the eye. The retina is a very sensitive part of the eye and once damage is done, it is irreparable. This can impact on children’s futures with normal activities being compromised such as reading, recognition of faces, driving or playing sport.”

Legislation and Standards (British Standard on Laser Safety (BS EN 60825-1:2007) cover the manufacture and supply of laser products in the European Union and group lasers into ‘Classes’ according to their potential for harm. Public Health England (PHE) advise that laser products sold to the general public for use as laser pointers should generally be restricted to class 1 or 2 devices (laser power less than 1mW) and be accompanied by sufficient information on their safe operation.

Mr Quhill added “One of the laser pointers that caused the retinal damage in one of our child cases was 72mW and all measured were more than 40mW of power and thus Class 3B.”

Commenting on the publication in ‘Eye’, Dr John O’Hagan of the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England said, “For many years we have been concerned about the availability of these lasers. The markings on the devices andthe packaging are often misleading. Output powers may be considerably higher than marked. There are European proposals to control the sale of handheld laser products that may cause injury. However, these proposals will only be relevant to products placed on the market in Europe; they will not cover personal imports over the internet from outside the European Union.”

http://www.nature.com/eye/journal/v28/n2/full/eye2013315a.html
 

 
 
2015 Educational Award

This year, the BMLA is giving away £1,000 to help you and your research.  All you need to do is tell us a little about yourself and what you want to do with the money.  To find out more, click here.

The closing date for applications is 10th April 2015.


 
International Year of Light

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) was proclaimed during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the end of last year.

This is a chance to raise public awareness at the diverse applications of light in modern life, including medical and aesthetic treatments and diagnostics.

There is a particular focus on the science underlying the work that we do.  This is an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of our work in the public and political arenas.

To find out more, visit
The IYL webpage,  or contribute as a blogger on the official IYL2015 blog.




 
A Burn within a Tattoo After IPL Epilation
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 15:22
A case has recently been reported in which a patient undergoing hair removal treatment using an intense pulsed light (IPL) device sustained a second-degree skin burn.  To read our thoughts on this, open the link below:
 

 

  Image reproduced from Riml et al (2013) with permission

 

 
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