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Multiple benefits when S.t Erik’s paediatric ophthalmology moves closer to Karolinska University Hospital

8 October 2020

The move of St. Erik Eye Hospital to Eugeniavägen in Solna has led to new, specially adapted, premises for the department of paediatric ophthalmology. The proximity to Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital at Karolinska University Hospital will be advantageous for both patients and staff.


Lotta Löwgen Elmér, chief physician and surgeon at St. Erik Eye Hospital, believes that moving closer to Karolinska in Solna will result in a better overall care for child patients.

The department of paediatric ophthalmology, strabismus, electrophysiology and ocular oncology treats not only children with visual impairments, ophthalmology, and strabismus, but also adults with strabismus, double vision, and other sight problems. In addition, the department has a national responsibility for children and adults with eye cancer.

We have taken part in designing our premises and we also took the opportunity to outline designs for our electrophysiological clinic for young patients. In electrophysiology, we can use advanced technical equipment to find certain types of eye diseases that could previously only be diagnosed at Karolinska in Huddinge, says Stefan Löfgren, chief physician and head of operations at the department of paediatric ophthalmology, strabismus, electrophysiology and ocular oncology.

A man and a woman in hospital uniforms.
Lotta Löwgren Elmér and Stefan Löfgren tour the new St. Erik premises at Eugeniavägen 12 in Solna. Photo: Jens Sølvberg

For many years now, St. Erik Eye Hospital has been running a small clinic for children at Danderyd Hospital. This clinic has now moved in with St. Erik, into the new hospital building in Solna. Stefan Löfgren says that the merger will lead to a better use of resources and greater opportunities to continue providing the clinic’s patients with good, accessible eye care.

“St. Erik’s new operating theatres are state-of-the-art, situated just opposite Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital at Karolinska in Solna,” say Lotta Löwgren Elmér and Stefan Löfgren. Photo: Jens Sølvberg

The youngest patients, such as children born with glaucoma or cataracts, have their surgeries at Karolinska University Hospital Solna, because Karolinska also provides intensive care for children. As in the past, the surgical team from St. Erik Eye Hospital will bring eye surgery equipment to Karolinska. But the new geographical proximity will make things easier.

Earlier, when we were missing an instrument for an operation, it had to be sent from Kungsholmen in Stockholm to Karolinska in Solna by blue light ambulance. This was stressful for both surgeons and nurses. With St. Erik now being relocated opposite Karolinska, the transport will be much easier, says Lotta Löwgren Elmér, who is chief physician at the department of anterior segment disorders, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology and oculoplastics at St. Erik Eye Hospital, and the person who operates on the youngest paediatric patients.

Many of the clinic’s paediatric patients are also patients at Karolinska. The proximity between the two hospitals will make things easier for both children and their families. Photo: Jens Sølvberg

Lotta Löwgren Elmér also believes in better overall assessments with regard to the young children. Since St. Erik’s paediatric ophthalmologist and the paediatricians at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital are now located so closely, everything can be performed in the same place: assessment before surgery, the operation itself, and the follow-up. The strain on children and parents is reduced as a result of avoiding travels between hospitals.

Just a simple thing like being able to have lunch meetings with colleagues at Karolinska Solna, will in my opinion lead to obvious patient benefits. I am sure that the physical proximity will provide more frequent, closer and better cooperation that will also improve the care for our patients, Stefan Löfgren concludes.

Text: Mats Almegård