Child blindness on rise, PGI seeks more workforce for paediatric unit : The Tribune India

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Child blindness on rise, PGI seeks more workforce for paediatric unit

Child blindness on rise, PGI seeks more workforce for paediatric unit

Paediatric High Dependency Unit has six beds and operates round-the-clock with just three senior residents. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, April 28

In response to rising prevalence of paediatric retinal diseases, the Department of Pediatrics at PGIMER, Chandigarh has sought creation of six new posts of senior residents (SRs) for the Paediatric High Dependency Unit (HDU) at Advanced Eye Centre (AEC).

With the surge in child retinal ailments, including pediatric cataract and glaucoma, there was a pressing need to meet the growing demand for specialised care.

Prof Sujit Singh, Head of the Department of Paediatric , highlighted in the proposal, the significant impact of childhood blindness on productivity and quality of life. He said nearly half of all childhood blindness cases were preventable or treatable.

The Paediatric HDU was currently grappling with an overwhelming workload, compounded by the rising incidence of paediatric eye conditions. With approximately 200 cases of paediatric cataract and over 600 new paediatric glaucoma cases reported annually, the existing workforce was stretched thin. Moreover, the unit was tasked with conducting around 4,800 screenings per year for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and providing treatment for sight-threatening cases.

The unit currently comprises six beds and operates round-the-clock with a team of only three senior residents. These residents work in 12-hour shifts, providing continuous care and monitoring for paediatric patients undergoing treatment for various eye conditions. Additionally, they play a crucial role in ROP screening and treatment services for both inborn and outborn babies, ensuring timely intervention and follow-up care.

The newly appointed senior residents will be engaged in monitoring infants undergoing laser treatment for ROP and providing intravenous sedation during procedures and conducting clinical assessments and investigative workups for various ophthalmic diseases in paediatric patients. They will also coordinate with other pediatric specialties for multi-disciplinary consultations and transfers as required and supervise infant care equipment and training other staff members to ensure optimal patient care.

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