Early diagnosis to avoid blindness from ROP in babies

Stevie Wonder was born as a premature baby, 6 weeks early. He went blind and doctors were wondering how that happened. Soon they realized that the condition that Stevie had is called ‘Retinopathy of Prematurity’ which affects at least 16,000 babies in the United States. This condition leaves them blind for the rest of their lives.

In this condition, the blood vessels will become thicker and will become very difficult and torturous for the baby. It detaches the retina and makes the baby go blind .

According to Dr. Chiang who is the Pediatric Ophthalmologist with Elks Children's Eye Clinic at Oregon Health and Science University, early diagnosis of ROP will help in curing the disease and will not make the baby go blind for the rest of its life . He used this technique on a baby named Henry who had the same condition. Instead of using the traditional laser or cryotherapy, Chiang injected Avastin into Henry’s eyes which helped the baby from turning blind for the rest of his life.

Chiang said that the only way to stop ROP is to diagnose it early and give medications. He is creating a telemedicine solution for ROP that can be used everywhere as many people might not have access and facilities for the early diagnosis of ROP.

Read More