- After dilated exam for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a phototherapy mask to shield infant eyes might reduce stress incidents.
- The study is limited by unequal use of ventilator support, a confounding stress factor in this trial.
Why this matters
- ROP screenings effectively prevent blindness in this high-risk group, but these infants also show signs of stress in the 12 hours after dilated examination.
- Editorial: the main limitation is unfortunate, and the results need to be validated, but the authors did a “nice job” separating out signal from noise in this work.
- Ventilator support: 35.7% in intervention group vs 56.5% in control group.
- Stressful event rates differed between groups at 12 hours post-exam, but not significantly:
- Rate ratio: 0.57 (95% CI, 0.3-1.2; P=.12).
- Younger gestational age, lower birth weight, ventilator support, hyponatraemia were all associated with increased stress.
- No adverse events with the eye masks.
- Randomised trial, infants (mean gestational age, 27.9 weeks; 63% boys) in neonatal ICUs, Toronto.
- 55 infants (30 in treatment, wearing phototherapy mask ≥4 hours post-exam).
- Outcomes: desaturation, apnoeic, bradycardic events within 12 hours.
- Funding: Phototherapy masks from Natus.
- Staff knew group status.
- Small study.