(Jul 22, 2015)
TEMPLE, July 22 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, introduced legislation today that would establish the Infant Vision Information, Education and Wellness program.
Rozzi's legislation, House Bill 1478, is intended to increase early detection of vision and potentially life-threatening abnormalities, including cataracts, glaucoma, leukocoria and retinoblastoma, by requiring all newborns be screened for vision abnormalities before leaving the hospital. All newborns who are not born in a hospital would need to be screened within the first 30 days of life.
"When a newborn is delivered in a Pennsylvania hospital, almost every part of the body is examined and tested to ensure that baby is healthy," Rozzi said. "The eyes are one major exception to this, though, and this oversight has resulted in serious ailments going untreated."
Rozzi said he learned about the seriousness of eye ailments through his chief of staff, Chad Schlanger, whose son, Lawrence, was born with glaucoma.
"Lawrence was born happy and seemingly healthy. It wasn't until mother and child were discharged from the hospital that they noticed a cloudiness in Lawrence's eye," Rozzi said. "A highly-skilled ophthalmologist diagnosed Lawrence with glaucoma, and after multiple surgeries and procedures, he is now doing well and staying healthy with medication."
Rozzi explained that while Lawrence will have to wear glasses for the rest of his life due to the damage that was done to the optic nerve by high pressure befo Read more