The lecture, 'Advances in Cochlear Implantation for Children: from hesitant beginnings to an exciting Future', was delivered by Mark Lutman (short biog.), Professor of Audiology at Southampton University. In cochlear implant terms, 1989 is one of the years; a defining point when ethical questions had to be confronted and the brave decision taken to implant the first paediatric patient in the UK. The lecture took us from that point, through to the current practise that we have benefitted from and on to cover some of the research that makes the future look incredibly promising for Tom and others.
All fascinating and well delivered; I even understood some of it. Bilaterals were touched on; Lutman believes in their value and had some very interesting data that demonstrated the improved sound localisation bilateral implantation brings. The fact that, in Germany and elsewhere, such implantation is the norm was mentioned of course...as was the fact that, in Southampton, requests to PCTs for bilateral funding are almost always accepted. The fact that I smiled ruefully rather than spiralling into a pit of righteous indignation shows just how far I've come don't you think?
The lecture was broadcast live on the web - you will find it alongside the other Ear Foundation webcasts . If you find yourself a free hour, give it a listen. In fact, clear a morning and listen to David Luterman and the Gerry O'Donoghue/Sue Archbold lecture too.
Prof. Mark Lutman's lecture - direct link
But what about Tom?
- He has a Stuart Little addiction that we're trying to manage although he doesn't like the washing machine bit and we need to be quicker on the fast-forward button.
- He's suffering some separation anxiety with going back to the child-minder. It involves alot of snot at the moment.
- He looks particularly professorial in his new glasses; he tends to peer over them as they slide down his nose (a little refitting is in order)