A lawsuit has been filed against a New York hospital for allegedly failing to diagnose a rare form of blindness in a newborn baby. The case is being investigated by the New York State Department of Health and the Office of Professional Medical Conduct.
The medical malpractice lawyers is a lawsuit that has been filed in the United States. It is about Retinopathy of Prematurity Blindness, and it alleges that the defendant failed to diagnose and treat the baby’s eye disease.
What is Retinopathy of Prematurity (RP)?
ROP, or retinopathy of prematurity, is an eye disease that may lead to blindness in preterm babies who are delivered before 31 weeks of pregnancy. The greater the risk of retinopathy of prematurity in a newborn, the younger and smaller he or she is.
Both eyes are usually affected by ROP. During the final 12 weeks of pregnancy, babies’ eyes grow the greatest. If the pregnancy is full-term, most of the retinal blood vessel development is completed by the time the baby is born, with the last growth phase happening up to a month following the baby’s birth.
ROP causes aberrant blood vessels to form in and around the retina in premature infants. The retina is the tissue that makes up the rear of the eye. The retina, as the eye’s light sensor, plays a critical function in vision. It’s also the portion of the eye that transmits information to the brain.
ROP causes aberrant blood vessels to form, which are unstable and prone to spilling. This may leave scars on the retina and cause the retina to move out of its proper place, resulting in retinal detachment. Blindness and visual impairment are caused by retinal detachment in infants with retinopathy of prematurity.
How Is Prematurity Retinopathy Treated and Prevented?
When retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) was initially identified in 1942, physicians didn’t know how to cure it until a research published in 1988 showed that if treated early enough, ROP-related retinal detachment could be avoided approximately half of the time.
Other therapies have subsequently been discovered to be successful, including:
- Treatment with oxygen
- Laser treatment is used to stop aberrant blood vessels from spreading.
- Scleral Buckle is a silicone band that is put around the eye to help in retinal detachment repair.
- Vitrectomy is a procedure for treating retinal detachment that involves removing the vitreous gel from the eye.
- Retina surgery is a procedure that involves repairing the retina.
The discovery of a successful therapy changed everything, but it also put more pressure on physicians to ensure that their tiny patients were adequately screened and diagnosed.
Stages of Prematurity Retinopathy
Every year, about 14,000 to 16,000 infants are born with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), although the severity of ROP varies greatly. ROP is classified into five phases according on its severity:
- Stage 1: The aberrant blood vessel development in Stage 1 is modest, and most infants heal on their own without therapy.
- Stage 2: At this stage, children have mild aberrant blood vessel development and will usually heal without therapy.
- Stage 3: Babies at this stage have aberrant blood vessel growth that is severe. Babies with Point 3 ROP may heal on their own in some instances, but treatment is usually recommended at this stage if the baby also has “Plus Condition,” which is characterized by swollen and twisted blood vessels that cause the disease to deteriorate. Retinal detachment is usually avoided if therapy is started early enough.
- Stage 4: The infant’s retina is partly separated at this stage.
- Stage 5: The retina is fully detached at this point.
90 percent of the 14,000 infants diagnosed with ROP each year are in stage 1 or 2. The severity of the situation may increase in certain instances, and this can happen quickly. A type of ROP that is severe enough to need treatment affects around 1,100-1,500 infants. ROP causes blindness in 400-600 people.
Medical Malpractice & Prematurity Retinopathy
A misdiagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity may have long-term consequences. Blindness induced by ROP may sometimes be the consequence of medical negligence.
Medical malpractice for retinopathy of prematurity has been claimed in cases where babies end up in ROP Stage 5 after doctors failed to properly communicate with parents about the importance of follow-up care once the infant is sent home, when parents were not given a proper referral to a specialist for follow-up care, and for failing to diagnose the correct ROP stage, which prevents proper treatment.
You may be eligible to bring a medical malpractice or class action case if your kid became blind after being diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity. Fill out the form on this page for a FREE case assessment to learn more.
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