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In Support of Increased Awareness and Education of Anophthalmia and Microphthalmia

by Villanova University Student Nurses Association

Whereas, anophthalmia/microphthalmia (A/M) are congenital birth defects in which no eye tissue is present or a small amount of tissue is present, respectively, and one or both eyes are absent, and

Whereas, A/M can occur "when the eyes of the fetus do not form, when the development of the fetal eye is supressed or interrupted, or when the fetal eye degenerates," and

Whereas, A/M may be a single birth defect or occur with other congenital problems, and

Whereas, the actual incidence of A/M is unknown, and

Whereas, an A/M child permanemtly blind in one or both eyes will endure lifelong implications as eye can not be transplanted, and

Whereas, Early intervention, such as the use of prosthetic devices, can reduce the risk of severe cosmetic and facial abnormalitities resulting from altered developmental growth of the orbit, and

Whereas, Upon the birth of a child with congential defects parent's preconceived hopes for a perfect-child may now be replaced by a multifaceted grief response, and

Whereas, Information about congenital defects is crucial to helping a parent care for their special needs child, and

Whereas, "The care of a child with A/M should be a comprehensive team effort. Each member of this team is an intergral part of ensuring the child will reach his or her full porential,"

Whereas, Resources such as the International Children's Anophthalmia Network (ican) can help other nurses, other health care professionals, and parents learn about and care for A/M children; Therefore be it

Resolved, That the Student Nurses' Association of Pennsyvania (SNAP) support education about A/M for nurses, health care professionals, and the public; and be it further

Resolved, That SNAP provide current information on the awareness and education about A/M through Insight articles and Chapter education programs if feasible; and be it further

Resolved, That SNAP encouraage its constituent chapters to promote awareness and education of A/M through collaboration with organizations such as ican; and be it further

Resolved, That SNAP send copies of this resolution to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Nurse Practitioners, the American Nurses' Association, the Association for Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses', ican, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse and Adolescent Practitioners, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses', the National Student Nurses' Association, and all others deemed appropriate by the SNAP Board of Directors.

This resolution was presented at the State Convention of the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania, November 1998.
It is planned to be presented at the National level sometime this year.