Wagner: We’re going to talk about the relationship between the pediatric ophthalmologist and the hospital regarding retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The first question I’d like to put forth, which may be an obvious one, is why do you think so many retinal surgeons have opted to limit their availability to treat ROP, and for that matter, why have many pediatric ophthalmologists decided not to perform these ROP evaluations in the neonatal intensive case unit (NICU)? Dr. Gold?
Gold: I’ll comment first about the pediatric ophthalmologists. It’s unfortunate that so many of our colleagues have decided not to screen or treat premature babies with ROP. I mean it’s part of what we do as pediatric ophthalmologists. We’re trying to preserve the vision of the littlest patients, and unfortunately, the medicolegal climate of today has caused ROP to be under the microscope. Many of our colleagues don’t want to have that held over their heads. For retina specialists, in particular, this is a small part of their practice, and treating these babies who may go on to have retinal detachment, despite their treatment, causes them to take on a risk that they may or may not want.