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Retrolental Fibroplasia

Volume 932: debated on Monday 16 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his estimate of the number of babies handicapped by retrolental fibroplasia in the last year for which figures are available;(2) what is his estimate of the number of persons in the United Kingdom handicapped by retrolental fibroplasia.

In the year ending 31st March 1976, the number of children under 5 years of age in England newly registered as blind or partially sighted as a result of retrolental fibroplasia is estimated to be about 14. This estimate is based on an analysis of about two-thirds of the new cases registered. It may be an underestimate, as registration may occur at a later age and, in some instances, may never occur at all. It is very difficult to estimate accurately the total number of people handicapped by retrolental fibroplasia. I will write to my hon. Friend on this matter as soon as possible.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to reduce the incidence of retrolental fibroplasia resulting from excess oxygen.

The incidence of retrolental fibroplasia is minimised by high standards of neo-natal care. I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to his other Question today concerning action I am taking on this matter.