ROP Injuries Caused By Medical Malpractice
Detached Retinas In Preemies Can Cause Blindness
Our team helps families with babies injured by doctors who failed to timely screen or treat ROP properly. We focus almost exclusively on newborn baby blindness and brain injuries caused by doctors who responded improperly to ROP in premature infants.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when three elements are present:
- A person enters into a relationship with a doctor or healthcare provider for medical care
- The doctor or provider fails to act reasonably and/or makes a preventable medical mistake
- The patient is injured as a result
Failing to recognize the risk factors of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in premature infants or failing to execute proper and timely treatment can constitute medical malpractice. All medical professionals working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), including doctors, nurses, specialists and pediatric ophthalmologists, must receive training about how to diagnose and respond to potential ROP dangers. When medical providers fail to properly screen, monitor or treat ROP and the condition results in a blind newborn or vision impairment, medical malpractice has likely occurred.
How Should Doctors Respond to ROP?
The medical community has a standard protocol for ROP diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, not following the standard protocol is negligence. According to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and the American Association of Certified Orthoptists, doctors should perform up to four follow-up screenings on premature babies. Depending on the stage of ROP and other factors, your doctor should have scheduled you for up to four follow-ups:
- 1 week or less follow-up
- 1 to 2-week follow-up
- 2-week follow-up
- 2 to 3-week follow-up
Once your medical team discovers that your child is at risk of developing ROP, they can perform a number of ROP treatments. The most common treatment is laser therapy, which has a high success rate for preventing vision loss. Medical malpractice could have occurred if your doctor failed to schedule these follow-ups, did not perform treatment in time or performed treatment incorrectly.
My Preemie is Blind – What Can I Do?
Advancements in the health field have made large strides towards eradicating blindness caused by ROP. This means doctors must be held accountable when they fail to treat preventable conditions. When a healthcare provider fails to screen and treat ROP correctly, such errors can lead to blindness. This can result in a lifetime of physical and financial challenges.
Our law firm has successfully handled cases like these over the past 15 years. Thus, we know how doctors should handle ROP threats. We can then hold them accountable when they cause lifelong consequences for their patients. Schedule a free consultation with our birth injury lawyers to learn more.