A Retinopathy of Prematurity eye examination and laser treatment has been started in Bhopal’s Government Hamidia Hospital to save new born children from vision loss. So far more than 2,000 newborns have availed the benefit.Gandhi Medical College is running OPDs from 9 am to 3 pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in Hamidia Hospital but children coming from outside Bhopal are being examined every day. Infants with Retinopathy of Pre-maturity (ROP) are coming for examination and treatment at the OPDs from Bhopal and nearby villages-cities. It is often seen that abnormal blood vessels develop on the retina of premature infants which can lead to permanent vision loss in such children. The development of abnormal vessels is checked through laser.
Dr Kavita Kumar, Head of the Department said that Retinopathy of Pre-maturity is often found in children born prematurely. Children whose weight is less than 1500 gm, pregnancy is 32 weeks or less or the baby is required to have high amounts of oxygen after birth can fall prey to ROP Children suffering from ROP may suffer from blindness, squint, retina detachment, glaucoma and myopia. This makes their life very painful and difficult.
These days the infant’s eye is tested soon after birth. Dr Kavita Kumar said that sometimes the eye defect is not identified till a few weeks after birth. Therefore, children born prematurely should have an eye examination mandatorily in the 4th to 6th week after birth. The child's eye is monitored for the first few weeks.
If this defect can be controlled by medicine or naturally, then laser treatment is not given. Dr Kumar said every day 20-25 newborns undergo eye examination out of which 4-5 infants need treatment.
In view of the instruction issued by Dr Aruna Kumar, founder of Gandhi Medical College, to conduct an eye examination of children born in the hospital immediately after birth, eye test is conducted by an eye specialist born in the government hospital. Children with ROP are given proper treatment and laser treatment if necessary.
Training and all essential equipments needed for examination and treatment of children diagnosed with ROP is given to doctors of the Eye Department by Gandhi Medical College.
Laser, Video Indirect Opthalmoscope, Indirect Opthalmoscope etc are provided under National Health Mission.