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Article Date: 5/1/2011

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instrumental focus
instrumental focus

Expand Your Reach

Portable slit lamp combines intuitive design with convenience.

Mark K. Colip, O.D.

Simplifying equipment doesn't have to mean compromising operating capacity. In fact, I've found just the opposite when using the PSL Classic Portable Slit Lamp, from Keeler Instruments, Inc.

Portability

With this device, the user can meet physically restricted patients in comfortable positions. The day-to-day application of this flexibility manifests in appointments in nursing homes, school screenings or with physically limited patients in your office, such as the obese or those who have restrictive spinal conditions.

Intuitive design

Before traveling to provide eye care on a mission trip in Haiti, I read Keeler's one-page instruction manual on the device. It proved more than sufficient in enabling me to employ all the PSL's features effectively.

Additionally, my team of seven students quickly grasped the device's capabilities and employed them extensively throughout the trip.

For instance, at first contact the PSL handle's trigger automatically turns on its light when you pick up the device. As a result, you're immediately off and running with minimal delay and set up.

The PSL used here by one of the seven students who accompanied Dr. Colip to Haiti includes illuminated LED targets ensuring the patient fixates on a target and remains engaged during the exam.

Illuminated targets

The device includes illuminated LED targets, ensuring your patient fixates on a target and remains engaged during the exam. Since a portable slit lamp allows the patient movement freedom, patients have more of a tendency to allow their eyes to wander during this type of examination. As a result, this feature is quite helpful.

To initiate the two red LED lights, you simply double-click the PSL handle's trigger.

Controllable illumination

The instrument enables the user to easily control the halogen illumination system via a thumb wheel, which adjusts from zero to full brightness. This customization feature improves the quality of the exam by allowing the doctor to adjust illumination on the fly.

Additionally, I've flipped the device upside down to examine patients lying and found that the illumination isn't compromised. In this regard, the PSL's maneuverability works alongside its technical features.

Something else to keep in mind: The device's halogen illumination system provides more than 2,000 hours of bulb life, according to Keeler instruments Inc., and it comes with a spare bulb.

Aperture and magnification

The instrument also offers controls for aperture and magnification. The aperture setting features a variety of slit-widths (0.15mm, 0.5mm, 0.8mm, 1.6mm, and 12mm circle.). There is also an additional 1mm square aperture setting, which is especially useful for evaluating the anterior chamber for inflammation. Additionally, the PSL's 10x and 16x magnification assist in diagnosing patients as having inflammation, infection, trauma or ocular disease. Both my students and I noticed the quality and clarity of the device's magnification, which results from its multilayered glass.

Reliability

After three days of continuous clinic use and sharing the device among almost 10 technicians in Haiti, I never had to recharge its battery. (The device comes with a charger stand that would be optimal for a traditional practice setting.)

The combination of portability and technology makes the PSL a must-have device for your practice. This is why you won't find me without it when abroad or stateside. OM


DR. COLIP IS VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT, ALUMNI AND COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT AT ILLINOIS COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY (ICO) IN CHICAGO. HE'S TRAVELED MULTIPLE TIMES TO SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA FOR MEDICAL MISSION WORK. HIS MOST RECENT MISSION TRIP WAS TO HAITI. E-MAIL HIM AT MCOLIP@ICO.EDU. OR, SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.

Optometric Management, Issue: May 2011

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