Orbis debuts simulation training on first Flying Eye Hospital trip of 2018

NEW YORK, April 3, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Orbis's Flying Eye Hospital--the world's only U.S.-accredited teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft--has returned to Trujillo, Peru for the sixth time to deliver a three-week ophthalmic training from April 2 - 20. For the first time, Orbis will dedicate the first week to training medical professionals from the Instituto Regional de OftalmologĂ­a (IRO) through simulation technology.

Thanks to the generous support of UTC Aerospace Systems, the new simulation center and training program combines the latest in simulation technology, virtual reality, and scientific, surgical and medical knowledge. The curricula that has been developed focuses on holistic simulation training for every member of the ophthalmology team including doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists.

"As a company of Ideas Born to Fly, UTC Aerospace Systems can't imagine anything more important than equipping the world's only flying eye hospital with the latest in simulation technology and bringing it to people in need around the world," said Stacey MacNeil, Vice President of Communications, UTC Aerospace Systems. "That's what started this relationship between us and Orbis--our shared vision to move the world forward to fight avoidable blindness."

The program will add a new dimension to training and increase the number of opportunities offered to local doctors, expanding to first- and second-year residents. It allows local ophthalmic teams to learn and practice complex surgical skills in a controlled environment before operating on patients, and breaks down a complex surgery into smaller parts allowing local doctors to focus on a certain skill--something you can't do with a human eye.

Beyond simulation training, this Orbis Flying Eye Hospital project, planned in collaboration with La Libertad Regional Health Management (GERESA), continues to strengthen IRO's capacity to deliver eye care services and developing its training program in the areas of cataract, cornea, retina, glaucoma, oculoplastics, strabismus, optometry and low vision. It provides continued medical education tailored for local ophthalmologists, nurses, anesthesiologists, biomedical engineers, and other allied eye health professionals in the region through lectures, case discussions, surgical observation, hands-on training, workshops and symposia.

Over the years, through Orbis's on-going partnership, IRO has grown into a modern Center of Excellence in ophthalmology in an area with much need, especially to address retinopathy of prematurity and diabetic retinopathy.

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) estimated that over 12.4 million people are moderately or severely visually impaired in the Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) region, including 2.3 million blind people (in 2015). Among those, more than 1.75 million Peruvians are visually impaired, while over 16,000 are blind.

While cataract remains the leading cause of blindness globally, diabetes is becoming increasingly common around the world and in the Latin America & Caribbean region due to lifestyle changes. As its prevalence increases, so do its complications affecting the eyes, including cataract, diabetic retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma. In Peru, diabetic retinopathy is the sixth leading cause of blindness1.

"Diabetic eye diseases affect people with type 1 or 2 diabetes that can lead to vision loss or blindness. These include cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, which is most commonly seen in diabetic patients," said Dr. Antonio Jaramillo, Head of Clinical Services of Orbis Flying Eye Hospital. "However, 95% of severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented by early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up. It's important for the patients to have a dilated eye exam with a trained eye doctor at least once a year."

About Orbis
Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of blindness for over 35 years. Orbis transforms lives by delivering the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver accessible quality eye care. Working in collaboration with local partners including hospitals, universities, government agencies and ministries of health, Orbis provides hands-on ophthalmology training, strengthens healthcare infrastructure and advocates for the prioritization of eye health on public health agendas. Orbis operates the world's only Flying Eye Hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft. To learn more, please visit orbis.org.

About UTC Aerospace Systems
UTC Aerospace Systems is one of the world's largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defense products. UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries, supporting a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities. For more information about the company, visit our website at www.utcaerospacesystems.com or follow us on Twitter: @utcaerosystems

About United Technologies Corporation
United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. By combining a passion for science with precision engineering, the company is creating smart, sustainable solutions the world needs. For more information about the company, visit our website at www.utc.com or follow us on Twitter: @UTC

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