Rozzi proposal seeks to increase early detection of eye abnormalities

TEMPLE, May 26 – In an effort to increase early detection of vision and potentially life-threatening abnormalities, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, said he intends to introduce legislation that would establish the Infant Vision Information, Education and Wellness program.

Rozzi's proposal would ensure that all newborns are 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.

"The intent of the IVIEW program is to ensure every child in this commonwealth is properly screened for possibly debilitating vision abnormalities that potentially could cost them their vision or even their lives," Rozzi said. "The good news is that screening for these abnormalities is a simple process and early treatment often can resolve the underlying issue."

Rozzi said the ailments that the IVIEW screening could detect include cataracts, glaucoma, leukocoria and retinoblastoma.

The IVIEW program, which would be established within the Department of Health, also would provide all parents with information about the merits of continued screening and details about needed follow-up care.

"A simple eye test can make a world of difference for children born with these abnormalities," Rozzi said. "I look forward to introducing my legislation shortly to address this crucial issue.

Rozzi said the IVIEW program would bring Pennsylvania closer to meeting the current American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of vision evaluations, including red reflex testing, during the neonatal period and during all subsequent health visits.