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'Red Reflex absent' 8 week baby check - Am I overreacting?

(8 Posts)
Diege Tue 20-Oct-09 14:41:36

DS is now 4 months and developing well. Went to gps today for injections and noticed on the electronic notes that the nurse had up that the GP had written under his 8 week check 'Red Reflex absent, (normal bilateral)'.
Now I know what this could mean but at the same time my written notes (red book) by same gp indicate red reflux was seen, and more importantly perhaps at the time nothing was mentioned (no referrals for anything). Now the rational side of me says that she must have written absent instead of present on the computer notes (esp as 'normal' bilateral' was noted in brackets after)and nothing said. But my irrational sleep-deprived head knows what absent red reflex means and am worrying that something's wrong after all. Dh thinks I'm mad and is getting cross about it (has got out the photos with ds's red pupils clearly there from flash) but have that horrible churning dread feeling...Please tell me it's ok (or what to do to make me feel ok!). Have thought about ringing gp to clarify, or would HVs be able to examine his eyes at clinic?
Any advice greatly appreciated!

Kayzr Tue 20-Oct-09 17:59:10

Hi Diege,

I would get the HV to just check his eyes. It will put your mind at ease.

GHOSTLYPRessenceofSES Tue 20-Oct-09 19:45:33

Your explanation is probably right but I agree with Kay and would probably give HV a ring, explain and ask her to double check at some point. Just to put your mind at rest.

Diege Tue 20-Oct-09 19:58:39

Thanks SES and KAYZ smile I spoke to the hv and she is sure that the gp must have made a mistake, esp as she (the gp)had hand written in the red book that the red reflex had been seen, plus had shown no signs of anything being amiss during the check. I was concerned that maybe she was trying to hide something from me, but hv says that they immediately refer if no reflex seen and that she wouldn't worry about it. Still, will speak to gp when she gets back from her hols hmm as hv thinks it's bad note keeping and should be mentioned. May try and get along clinic this week to get things double checked (our local one is closed for repairs). Thanks again xx

GYo Wed 21-Oct-09 08:48:33

Hi Diege
Im sorry that you are worried.

Does sound like a an error to me, but good idea to get it checked again.

If this had been noted at 8wks, Im sure that you would have noticed something wrong by now. Like in photos as your DH said... but thats not to say I think you mad too

Hope you can get some reassurance soon

Bye for now

narmada Wed 21-Oct-09 22:38:05

Hi Diege,

I could be wrong but I think that an absent red reflex is the thing you want the record to say..

this is from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

...The result of a red reflex examination is to be rated as negative or normal when the reflections of the 2 eyes are equivalent in color, intensity, and clarity and there are no opacities or white spots (leukokoria) within the area of either or both red reflexes.

A positive or abnormal result of a red reflex examination (inequality in color, intensity or clarity of the reflection, or the presence of opacities or white spots) should be followed, in a timely fashion, by 1 of 2 actions ....(then goes on to describe further tests)

Hope that helps,


jybay Thu 22-Oct-09 11:03:13

No, you want to see a red reflex - seeing one is normal. I agree GP has almost certainly ticked the wrong box but obviously it's a good idea to double check.

Diege Thu 22-Oct-09 16:15:56

Thanks guys. Yes, red reflex is normal though see how stating the prescence of something as normal in medicine can be construed as the opposite!
Think I've finally been reassured. My gp is away for 2 weeks and the hvs don't 'do eyes' anymore hmm I did speak to one of the mums at school though who is a hv (used to be ours) and she said how easy it was to tick the wrong box on the computer template. She also knows my gp well and says that there's 'no way on earth' that she would have said nothing at the time and also not referred if the red reflex was ansent (plus she hand wrote there was a reflex on the paperwork and ticked the 'satisfactory' box). GP is a paediatrician too. Have also obsessively looked through all photos on camera and those in which he's looking at the flash have a clear red reflex in both eyes. So think I'll leave it there! Thanks everyone smile

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