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A Do No Harm Technical Brief

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) occurs in premature and low birth weight (LBW) infants when abnormal blood vessels and scar tissue grow over the retina leading to visual impairment/blindness. The incidence of ROP is increasing as more preterm and extremely LBW babies are surviving due to expanding provision of neonatal care services, and advances in medical technology and therapeutics. The incidence of ROP and visual impairment and blindness from ROP is also increasing, and all regions of the world are now affected. Primary prevention through improved neonatal care, and secondary prevention through appropriate ROP screening of at-risk infants with timely treatment of those with severe ROP can prevent nearly all cases of blindness. This brief highlights the risk factors for and current evidence-based best practices and actions to screen for and prevent retinopathy in premature and LBW infants.

The Every Preemie—SCALE project is pleased to share the Do No Harm Technical Brief Series. This series highlights the safe and effective use of specific inpatient newborn care interventions, with the guiding principle of “Do No Harm”. The briefs are designed to provide stakeholders with evidence-based information regarding safe and effective inpatient care in low-resource settings as an important step to avoid harm and improve health outcomes for newborns. See complete series here.