Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Nursing management of neonates undergoing screening for retinopathy of prematurity

Eye examinations can be unpleasant for newborn infants and sometimes they may cry or show signs of discomfort. Neonatal nurses can make this experience less distressing for the baby and its parents by careful preparation and evidence-based best practice. This article describes an audit of current practice and a quality improvement project that set out to standardise the nursing care given to infants undergoing retinopathy of prematurity screening, including the development of a unit protocol to promote a care bundle.

Beatrice Ramunno
Neonatal Staff Nurse 
Trevor Mann Baby Unit, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, Brighton

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neonatal nursing; retinopathy of prematurity (ROP); ROP screening; clinical audit; quality improvement; care bundle
Key points
  1. Junior nursing staff should be trained in ‘best practice’ to improve nursing care and minimise complications during neonatal screening for ROP.
  2. A standardised unit protocol (checklist) has been developed for nursing staff to refer to as a guide for newborns undergoing ROP screening.
  3. Compliance with the checklist led to an improvement in care.

Also published in Infant:

The use of massage to reduce pain and stress associated with retinopathy of prematurity screening
Massage was implemented into a level three neonatal unit in Scotland. The Neonatal Pain, Agitation and Sedation Scale (NPASS) was used to measure the preterm infants’ pain prior to, during and post-retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening. Staff and parents provided feedback/testimonials on their experiences with the massage therapy.