Incidence of retinopathy and neonatal nurse practioner’s role in prevention of blindness due to retinopathy of prematurity at Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Brazil – prospective observational descriptive study

Marlene Coelho da Costa, Gabriela Unchalo Eckert, Fabiana Borba Valiatti, Pedro Paulo Bonomo, João Borges Fortes Filho


Introduction: Retinopathy of prematurity is a leading cause of blindness in children in middle-income countries. Recent improvements in the intensive neonatal cares allied with better personal qualification for assistance to the pre-term neonate increased survival rates among very low birth weight infants. This study aims to evaluate the incidence of the disease in premature children born at Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre - Brazil, and also to describe the neonatal nurse practioner’s in prevention of blindness at this institution. Methods: A prospective observational descriptive study was conducted on 329 premature children born with birth weight ≤ 1.500 grams and/or ≤ 32 weeks of gestational age between October of 2002 and October of 2006. All of the children were examined by indirect binocular ophthalmoscopy after pupil dilation with association of Tropicamide 0.5% and Phenylephrine 2.5%, eye drops. The ophthalmological examination was first conducted between the 4th and the 6th weeks of life and repeated according the findings based in the international classification. Results: Retinopathy was diagnosed in 84 of the neonates with an incidence rate of 25.5% (84/329). Eighteen of the 329 screened children (5.5%) reached threshold disease and 17 of them needed diode laser treatment to prevent the disease progression. One patient missed the treatment. Conclusions: The incidence of retinopathy was similar to other international results as well as the occurrence of 5.2% of treatable disease. Only one of the infants developed the disease up to the most serious stage (ROP 5), resulting in a 0.3% of blindness due to the retinopathy at the institution since 2002.


Retinopatia da Prematuridade/epidemiologia/prevenção & controle; Cegueira

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