Examination for Retinopathy of Prematurity in Premature Neonates and Feeding
Introduction: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) affecting developing retinal blood vessels in premature neonates may lead to poor visual activity or blindness. ROP occurs in 50% of neonates and 8% develop severe ROP, requiring treatment. Eye drops for dilating the pupils for examination of the eyes can be absorbed and consequently impair gut motility. Eye examinations may be associated with pain and adverse physiological effects including apnea, which cause parental distress. Objective: To examine the relationship between feeding intolerance 24 hours before and after eye examination for ROP.
Method: Retrospective audit was conducted in preterm infants undergoing ROP examination. Feeding intolerance and apnea were observed 24 hours before and 24 hours after eye examination. Results: A total of 18 infants (mean birth gestational age=25.4weeks ±1.5 weeks, mean birth weight=799g ±290g) with 57 eye examinations were included. We observed a significant increase in feeding intolerance in the form of pre-feed aspirate after eye examination (5.2% versus 23%) and suspension of feed (0% versus 5.2%). Two infants were kept nil per oral following eye examination.
Conclusion: Eye examination for ROP screening was associated with feeding intolerance in preterm neonates.
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