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Sight-saving drug to be offered to premature babies, announces NHS

Premature babies across England will be offered a sight-saving drug, the NHS has announced.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is an eye disease that can occur among babies who are born early or those born with a low birth weight.

The NHS routinely screens these babies for the condition, which affects blood vessels in the retina, creating damaging scar tissue and causing blindness.

Traditionally the condition is treated with laser eye surgery but some babies are too unwell or fragile to have the treatment.

Now the NHS is offering new “life-changing” drug ranibizumab to babies with ROP across England who are unable to receive traditional treatment.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “The impacts of vision loss can be absolutely devastating, particularly for children and young people, so it’s fantastic that this treatment will now give families across the country another life-changing option to help save their child’s precious sight."

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Source: The Independent, 4 July 2023


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