Very premature babies are at a higher risk of developing complications in their eye, especially those who are of very low birth weight and those who have received supplemental oxygen in incubator. Such would have also been the fate of Baby of Sangeeta Devi, who was born prematurely at 6 months of gestation, at the nursing home of Dr. Prabudh Mishra, an eminent neonatologist at MGM Hospital, Kadamkuan , if not for timely intervention. Once the baby was stabilized, Dr. Mishra requested for an eye checkup with senior retina specialist, Dr. Pooja Sinha of A. B. Eye Institute, Rajendra Nagar, Patna.
On examination, Dr. Pooja Sinha found that the premature baby’s retina had developed Retinopathy of Prematurity. Had Dr. Mishra not requested for eye checkup, there was no way of looking at the child from outside to tell the condition of the eye. This child then would have definitely gone blind, which the parents would have come to know later after irreversible blindness had set in.
Dr. Pooja Sinha, who has been trained at Sankara Netralaya, Chennai, diagnosed the child as having an advanced and complicated form of ROP. In the interest of the child, she sought a second opinion from former head of eye department of AIIMS, Professor Rajvardhan Azad. Dr. Azad, who runs a specialized retina clinic in Patna, Raj Retina Eye Care, examined the child along with his co-consultant Dr. Salabh Sinha. All the eye doctors decided that this child required laser treatment in his eyes along with a specialized injection in the eye called Bevacizumab (Avastin).
The team held a meeting and decided that the entire procedure had to be done in the NICU as the baby was fragile and could not be moved out. In a two-phased treatment plan, the child was treated with laser by Dr. Salabh Sinha in the NICU itself. The more complicated procedure, requiring high skill, of giving an injection inside the eye, was performed by Dr. Pooja Sinha; this procedure was done for the first time in Bihar in the NICU itself.
The poor parents of the child were very grateful to the team of eye doctors, along with being grateful to Dr. Manju Gita Mishra, who had delivered the child, and Dr. Prabudh Mishra, who helped the child survive.
by Dr. Satyajit Sinha