Date of Graduation

Spring 2010

Degree

Master of Science in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope

Keywords

retinopathy of prematurity, pulse oximeter parameters, oxygen protocol, premature infant, eye abnormality, visual impairment

Subject Categories

Nursing

Abstract

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye of a premature infant that can cause degrees of visual impairment or blindness. ROP occurs when this population is exposed to high levels of oxygen. The most severe forms of ROP are seen in neonates less than 28 weeks gestation and less than 1,250 grams. The purpose of this predictive correlational study was to identify the effect of strict pulse oximeter parameters on the incidence and severity of ROP in premature infants. Data were collected retrospectively from chart reviews to follow pulse oximeter measurements, length of oxygen exposure, and ocular exam results in a Midwestern, non-profit, religious-based, 26 bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The fifty subjects studied were 32 weeks gestational age or less and weighed less than 1,500 grams. Oxygen administration to this population is unavoidable due to their immature lung development. By following strict pulse oximeter parameters, it was speculated that hyperoxygenation could be reduced and improve overall outcome in the premature neonatal eye. ROP findings were: (10%) mature retinas, (32%) stage I or II , (4%) stage III, (0%) stage IV or V, (32%) immature retinas, and (24%) deferred exams. The incidence of all ROP in the NICU was diminished by 34% in comparison to previous years. The oximeter protocol was kept by personnel and patient with a 1 to 3 % deviation 75 to 86% of the time respectively. A one-way ANOVA indicated that there was no significant difference between the oxygen protocol deviation of 1 to 3 % and stage I and II ROP. The severe ROP sample was too small to make any comparisons. The targeted oximeter protocol was clinically significant with a reduction of any ROP, however it was statistical insignificant. KEYWORDS: retinopathy of prematurity, pulse oximeter parameters, oxygen protocol, premature infant, eye abnormality, visual impairment

Copyright

© Tammy Lynn Seifried

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