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, affecting about 15,000 premature babies each year. 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 must be conducted by a qualified professional. ROP in premature infants must be addressed immediately.
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 necessary ROP screening timely and accurately 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 more than 500 babies in the United States will become legally blind resulting from ROP, and one in ten newborns diagnosed with ROP will suffer blindness or severe loss of vision unless doctors begin treating ROP as the life-altering and devastating disease that it is. Ordering the screening to detect ROP should be standard procedure for all premature babies, and the regression or progression of ROP must be closely monitored by a qualified pediatric ophthalmologist 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 the condition is left undetected and untreated by medical professionals. Many doctors are guilty of not taking the actions necessary to prevent ROP from causing blindness in newborns and other acts of medical malpractice. 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, know that you are not alone. Hundreds of parents every year discover that their babies have gone blind in the NICU, and few know their doctor could have prevented this affliction if he or she had acted with a reasonable standard of care. A detached retina in a newborn can cause a host of vision issues, and parents of children with disabilities deserve a network of support and resources. If you have more questions about how to adjust to life as parent of a blind child, call our retinopathy of prematurity attorney’s office. We work with parents struggling with a sudden trauma or loss, and we can help you find ways to give your child the best life possible.