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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
If your child is born prematurely, there’s a 50-50 chance he will develop some degree of retinopathy of prematurity. Since the disease has no outward symptoms, you can’t “see” it — and neither can the doctors and nurses who work in the neonatal intensive care unit. That’s why infants at risk for ROP are routinely screened by pediatric ophthalmologists using special equipment.
In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics revised its guidelines for ROP screening. They include:
The screening exam may take place at your child’s bedside in the NICU or, if he’s already been discharged, at the ophthalmologist’s office. Here’s what’s typically involved:
Doctors are also making increasing use of an innovative device called the RetCam, a special camera that takes high-resolution digital pictures of the retina. This provides detailed images that can be compared from one exam to the next to help track the health of your child’s eyes over time.
Questions to ask your doctor
You and your family are key players in your child’s medical care. It’s important that you share your observations and ideas with your child’s health care provider and that you understand your provider’s recommendations.
If your child is diagnosed with ROP, you probably already have some ideas and questions on your mind. But during the appointment, it can be easy to forget the questions you wanted to ask. It’s often helpful to jot them down ahead of time so that you can leave the appointment feeling that you have the information you need.
Some of the questions you may want to ask include:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”