GMCH’s ophthalmology department has initiated a drive for checking such babies. Total 256 babies were screened during the last in eight months out of which, 52 babies were diagnosed with this deadly malady. Treatment was promptly started and these 52 babies are out of danger now.
Premature delivery is the fourth reason of blindness among neonatal. Significantly, babies born before 34 weeks or those with a weight of less than 1.5 kg are at risk of developing Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), which causes blindness.
Any delivery before completing 37 weeks is termed as premature delivery and the fetus is underdeveloped. Premature deliveries have increased in India and also the number of ROP cases. The blood delivery to the retina in such infants increases and can cause low vision or permanent blindness.
Hence every new born baby should be checked by an ophthalmologist. Head of ophthalmology department in GMCH Dr Ashok Madan has taken cognizance of this issue and constituted a team, which checks the babies admitted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
During the last eight months, 256 babies were screened and 52 were discovered to be suffering from ROP. The serious patients were treated by Laser and others by injections. Prompt medical treatment has removed the risk of the babies developing low vision or permanent blindness.
Ophthalmology department head Dr Ashok Madan said that, “blood vessels in the eyes begin growing around the fourth month of pregnancy and continue to grow throughout the 40 weeks of pregnancy. When a baby is born prematurely, the blood vessels are affected because the conditions in the womb are not available outside. Hence the blood vessels grow improperly and the risk of ROP increases. We have taken a drive to check premature babies born in GMCH or brought from outside”.
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