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Abnormal blood vessel development in the eyes - complications of neonatal intensive care

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is abnormal blood vessel development in the retina of the eye of a premature infant. It is a condition most often seen in premature babies with very low birth weight.

ROP is associated with chronic vision problems and may result in blindness if not treated adequately. Although not all cases of ROP are preventable, better care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can decrease the incidence of the disease.

About this measure

This measure tracks the percentage of very low birth weight babies (3 pounds, 3 ounces or less) who develop severe ROP. Because the number of infants in this group is very small, a single complication can affect the overall complication rate measurably.

We track this measure through our participation in the Vermont Oxford Network (VON), a voluntary non-profit organization of over 700 neonatal intensive care units. VON is a collaboration dedicated to improving the quality and safety of the care delivered in neonatal intensive care units.

Note: In this case, a lower number is better.