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What is Retinopathy of prematurity(ROP) ?

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disorder of the developing retinal blood vessels of the preterm infant. New recommendations for screening and treatment of ROP have been published in the past few years. Current evidence suggests that screening infants with gestational ages of 30 6/7 weeks or less (regardless of birth weight) and birth weights of 1250 g or less is a strategy with a very small likelihood that an unscreened baby would have treatable ROP. Individual centres may choose to extend birth weight screening criteria to 1500 g. Initial screening should be performed at 31 weeks' postmenstrual age in infants with gestational ages of 26 6/7 weeks or less at birth, and at four weeks' chronological age in infants with gestational ages of 27 weeks or more at birth by an ophthalmologist skilled in the detection of ROP. Follow-up examinations are conducted according to the ophthalmologist's recommendation. Infants with high-risk prethreshold ROP and threshold ROP are referred for retinal ablative therapy. Developing processes for ROP screening, documenting results and communicating results to parents as well as health professionals involved in the infant's care are important responsibilities for all nurseries providing care for preterm infants.

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