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1.  Capacity building of nurses providing neonatal care in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: methods for the POINTS of care project to enhance nursing education and reduce adverse neonatal outcomes 
BMC Nursing  2012;11:3.
Increased survival of preterm infants in developing countries has often been accompanied by increased morbidity. A previous study found rates of severe retinopathy of prematurity varied widely between different neonatal units in Rio de Janeiro. Nurses have a key role in the care of high-risk infants but often do not have access to ongoing education programmes. We set out to design a quality improvement project that would provide nurses with the training and tools to decrease neonatal mortality and morbidity. The purpose of this report is to describe the methods and make the teaching package (POINTS of care--six modules addressing Pain control; optimal Oxygenation; Infection control; Nutrition interventions; Temperature control; Supportive care) available to others.
Six neonatal units, caring for 40% of preterm infants in Rio de Janeiro were invited to participate. In Phase 1 of the study multidisciplinary workshops were held in each neonatal unit to identify the neonatal morbidities of interest and to plan for data collection. In Phase 2 the teaching package was developed and tested. Phase 3 consisted of 12 months data collection utilizing a simple tick-sheet for recording. In Phase 4 (the Intervention) all nurses were asked to complete all six modules of the POINTS of care package, which was supplemented by practical demonstrations. Phase 5 consisted of a further 12 months data collection. In Phase 1 it was agreed to include inborn infants with birthweight ≤ 1500 g or gestational age of ≤ 34 weeks. The primary outcome was death before discharge and secondary outcomes included retinopathy of prematurity and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Assuming 400-450 infants in both pre- and post-intervention periods the study had 80% power at p = < 0.05 to detect an increase in survival from 68% to 80%; a reduction in need for supplementary oxygen at 36 weeks post menstrual age from 11% to 5.5% and a reduction in retinopathy of prematurity requiring treatment from 7% to 2.5%.
The results of the POINTS of Care intervention will be presented in a separate publication.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN83110114
PMCID: PMC3395837  PMID: 22409747
Brazil; Neonatal care; Neonatal nursing; Quality improvement; Neonatal mortality; Premature infant; Retinopathy of prematurity; Education; Continual professional development
2.  Prevalence of retinopathy of prematurity in Latin America 
The purpose of this work was to review the studies published over the last 10 years concerning the prevalence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in Latin American countries, to determine if there was an improvement in ROP prevalence rates in that period, and to identify the inclusion criteria for patients at risk of developing ROP in the screening programs. A total of 33 studies from ten countries published between 2000 and 2010 were reviewed. Prevalence of any ROP stage in the regions considered ranged from 6.6% to 82%; ROP severe enough to require treatment ranged from 1.2% to 23.8%. There was no routine screening for ROP, and there was a lack of services for treatment of the disease in many countries. Inclusion criteria for patients in the studies ranged between birth weight ≤1500 g and ≤2000 g and gestational age ≤32 and <37 weeks. Use of different inclusion criteria regarding birth weight and gestational age in several Latin American studies hindered comparative analysis of the published data. Highly restrictive selection criteria for ROP screening in relation to birth weight and gestational age should not be used throughout most Latin American countries because of their different social characteristics and variable neonatal care procedures. The studies included in this review failed to provide adequate information to determine if the prevalence of ROP has decreased in Latin America.
PMCID: PMC3236714  PMID: 22174577
retinopathy of prematurity; prevalence; incidence; Latin America
3.  Severe Visual Impairment and Blindness in Infants: Causes and Opportunities for Control 
Childhood blindness has an adverse effect on growth, development, social, and economic opportunities. Severe visual impairment (SVI) and blindness in infants must be detected as early as possible to initiate immediate treatment to prevent deep amblyopia. Although difficult, measurement of visual acuity of an infant is possible. The causes of SVI and blindness may be prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal. Congenital anomalies such as anophthalmos, microphthalmos, coloboma, congenital cataract, infantile glaucoma, and neuro-ophthalmic lesions are causes of impairment present at birth. Ophthalmia neonatorum, retinopathy of prematurity, and cortical visual impairment are acquired during the perinatal period. Leukocoria or white pupillary reflex can be cause by congenital cataract, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous, or retinoblastoma. While few medical or surgical options are available for congenital anomalies or neuro-ophthalmic disorders, many affected infants can still benefit from low vision aids and rehabilitation. Ideally, surgery for congenital cataracts should occur within the first 4 months of life. Anterior vitrectomy and primary posterior capsulotomy are required, followed by aphakic glasses with secondary intraocular lens implantation at a later date. The treatment of infantile glaucoma is surgery followed by anti-glaucoma medication. Retinopathy of prematurity is a proliferation of the retinal vasculature in response to relative hypoxia in a premature infant. Screening in the first few weeks of life can prevent blindness. Retinoblastoma can be debulked with chemotherapy; however, enucleation may still be required. Neonatologists, pediatricians, traditional birth attendants, nurses, and ophthalmologists should be sensitive to a parent’s complaints of poor vision in an infant and ensure adequate follow-up to determine the cause. If required, evaluation under anesthesia should be performed, which includes funduscopy, refraction, corneal diameter measurement, and measurement of intraocular pressure.
PMCID: PMC3119278  PMID: 21731320
Childhood Blindness; Congenital Anomalies; Congenital Cataract; Retinopathy of Prematurity
4.  The Increasing Problem of Retinopathy of Prematurity 
Community Eye Health  2001;14(40):58-59.
PMCID: PMC1705951  PMID: 17491934

Results 1-4 (4)