Vartanian R, et al. Pediatrics. 2016;doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1978.

January 12, 2017
1 min read

Survey: Screening, treatment for ROP lacking in US


Vartanian R, et al. Pediatrics. 2016;doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1978.

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Only about half of neonatal intensive care unit medical directors surveyed in a recent study said they felt there were enough ophthalmologists in their service areas to screen for or treat retinopathy of prematurity.

In a nationwide survey funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, responses from the heads of 379 level III and IV NICUs were analyzed to determine ROP care practices and ability to obtain ROP services.

Fifty-six percent of respondents said their areas were suitably staffed with ophthalmologists to address ROP, whereas 30% said their areas were not, a proportion that the study authors found “particularly concerning.”

In addition, 20% reported having a hard time maintaining ophthalmologic services for ROP in the previous 2 years. The top two reasons were contract issues and liability risk, at 71% and 62%, respectively.

“ROP detection and treatment remain one of the most publicized litigious areas in ophthalmology, with high jury awards in medical malpractice cases,” the authors wrote. “Physician malpractice insurance rates are higher for ophthalmologists who provide ROP screening and treatment. These factors, as well as the lack of training during residency and fellowship, form barriers to recruiting ophthalmologists willing to provide ROP care.”

The study’s authors concluded that there is a need for NICUs throughout the country to improve such services and to establish well-trained staff for the same. by Joe Green

Disclosure : The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.