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Background: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is regarded as one of the preventable causes of blindness in children. Recent advances in neonatal care have improved survival rates for premature infants. Thus ROP is believed to account for 6-18% of childhood blindness in developed countries. Early identification of retinal damage and the use of appropriate treatment prevent blindness and offer child better overall development.
Objective: To estimate the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity at Al Zahraa teaching hospital at Al Najaf Al Ashraf.
Patients and Methods: A prospective longitudinal study was conducted from 1st of April till 1st of August 2018 on a 100 preterm neonates who were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit with gestational age less than 36 weeks. All of cases were examined by using RetCam.
Results: This study showed that the incidence of ROP was 9%. There was a highly significant relation between neonatal body weight and the occurrence of retinopathy of prematurity as the incidence in very low birth weight was 36.4% compared with 1.3% in neonate having birth weight > 1500 gm and p-value equal to 0.0001. In addition there was a highly significant relation between the gestational age with the occurrence of retinopathy of prematurity as the incidence in neonates delivered with gestational age < 30 weeks was 38.9% compared with 2.4% in neonates delivered with gestational age > 30 weeks and p-value equal to 0.0001.
Conclusion: The incidence of ROP was found to be 9%. This can be due to the early screening and detection of the disease. Parent’s and medical staff education at the disease and the severity of the disease can increase their awareness to the importance of screening and follow up of the preterm neonate.
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