Fighting to End Premature Baby Blindness
Dedicated to Stopping Child Blindness and Raising Awareness About Retinopathy of Prematurity
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is the second highest cause of blindness in America today. It affects about 15,000 premature babies each year. Therefore, women who are pregnant and those who have recently given birth to premature babies should be aware of the necessary, crucial screening and monitoring procedures for ROP that a qualified professional must conduct. Consequently, these professionals must address ROP in premature infants immediately.
Furthermore, a pediatric ophthalmologist should perform this screening; general ophthalmologists or retinal ophthalmologists may not have sufficient ROP experience to effectively monitor and treat this disease. Performing a timely ROP screening is crucial for newborns born at or before 30 weeks gestation and weighing less than three pounds at birth. If you recently gave birth to a premature child, ask your doctor whether the pediatric ophthalmologist at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has specialized training in ROP.
Retinopathy of Prematurity Blindness is a Preventable Condition with Timely Screening and Treatment
Each year, ROP results in more than 500 babies in the United States becoming legally blind. One in ten newborns diagnosed with ROP will suffer blindness or severe loss of vision. Unfortunately, these numbers will not go down unless doctors begin treating ROP as the life-altering and devastating disease it is. Ordering the screening to detect ROP should be standard procedure for all premature babies. A qualified pediatric ophthalmologist must closely monitor the regression or progression of ROP. This allows the doctor to treat the disease accordingly and prevent blindness.
However, most mothers who went into premature labor have never heard of retinopathy of prematurity and the severe consequences it causes to newborn eyes if medical professionals do not detect and treat it. Many doctors do not take necessary actions to prevent ROP from causing blindness in newborns. ROP treatment options include laser therapy and cryotherapy.
Spreading Awareness While Fighting to Protect ROP Victims and Their Families
If you are a parent of a blind preemie, you are not alone. We are some of the few birth injury attorneys in North America who focus representation on children affected by retinopathy of prematurity. We work with parents who discover their babies have gone blind in the NICU. Regrettably, few know their doctor could have prevented this if he or she acted with a reasonable standard of care. A detached retina in a newborn can cause a host of vision issues. As a result of these issues, parents of children with disabilities deserve a network of support and resources. Thus, if you have more questions about how to adjust to life as parent of a blind child, call our retinopathy of prematurity lawyer’s office. We work with parents struggling with sudden trauma or loss. We can help you find ways to give your child the best life possible.