Maj. Charles Robert Soltes Jr. has the unfortunate distinction of being the first optometrist killed in the line of duty in Iraq.

Dr. Soltes, 36, of the 426th Civil Affairs Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, had been serving in Mosul, Iraq, for only a month. He was returning from work at a hospital, when a suicide driver in an explosive-laden truck plowed into his convoy. The explosion killed Dr. Soltes and another soldier, and wounded five others.

Dr. Soltes was a graduate of the New England College of Optometry, and had served as director of the Optometry Residency Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

He also was the clinical director at Irvine Vision Institute, a refractive surgery specialty center in Irvine, Calif.

Dr. Soltes leaves behind his wife and practice partner, Sally Huong Dang, O.D., two sons and another baby on the way.

Donations may be made toward an educational trust fund for his children. Checks should be made payable to The Soltes Children and mailed to Mr. Jeffrey Soltes, 16 Arundel St., Andover, MA 01810.

Weekend Atropine as Effective as Daily Drops
A new study indicates that atropine eye drops administered two days a week is as effective as daily dosing in children with amblyopia, according to the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG). The study is published in the November issue of Ophthalmology.
The investigators randomly assigned 168 moderately amblyopic children (up to 7 years old) into two groups: those who received atropine eye drops daily, and those who received drops only on Saturday and Sunday.
After four months, children in both groups72% of kids in the weekend group and 73% in the daily grouphad an average improvement of 2.3 lines of vision. In addition, about half the children in each group showed improvement to normal vision in the amblyopic eye by four months. This is comparable with eye patching.
An earlier study by PEDIG found that daily doses of atropine drops were as effective as eye patching. In another study, the group found that eye patches could be effective when worn for only two hours a day, rather than six hours.

For the Record
For clinical manuscripts, Review of Optometry employs a double-blind review system. In our September issue, the article Intravitreal Steroid Injections for Macular Edema, by Lori Vollmer, O.D., and Joseph Sowka, O.D., should have been identified as a peer-reviewed article. Review regrets the oversight.

Vol. No: 141:11Issue: 11/15/04