Retinopathy of Prematurity Statistics
How Common is ROP Blindness?
When babies are born severely premature, the blood vessels of their eyes often form abnormally outside of the womb. This abnormal growth is known as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). These vessels can then detach the retina if not treated properly, causing permanent blindness. Doctors and pediatric specialists should spot the warning signs and intervene before ROP develops into a lifelong injury.
Compared to other medical malpractice injuries, ROP blindness is quite rare. However, the effects of improper ROP screening or treatment are devastating for a child. ROP blindness is almost always preventable. This means if your baby is visually impaired from ROP, someone in charge of your child’s health made a preventable medical mistake. Richard M. Shapiro focuses on helping families like yours. We can investigate your medical records, consult with our medical experts and then explore options for covering the extra expenses incurred.
How Many Children Suffer from ROP and Baby Blindness?
One study from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that, of 4.67 million live births between 1997 and 2002, .12 percent of all babies had Retinopathy of Prematurity and 7.35 percent of premature babies had ROP.
According to a Baylor College of Medicine study, ROP causes between 6 and 18 percent of all childhood blindness in developed countries.
In most cases, ROP does not cause serious long-term effects. Of all the babies that enter into Stage 1 or Stage 2, nearly 90 percent overcome the condition without any need for additional treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute. At least half of the babies with ROP beyond Stage 3 sustain serious eye damage. Between 400 and 600 babies go blind every year from ROP, and between 1,100 and 1,500 require medical treatment.
Why Do So Many Babies Sustain a Preventable Retinopathy Prematurity Injury?
There is no cure for ROP. However, timely measures can stop the condition from causing permanent harm. Your doctor or pediatric ophthalmologist may have failed to discuss the warning signs with you. Alternatively, they may not have pressed upon you the urgency to seek ROP treatments. The sad reality of ROP is that most parents with blind newborns have no idea medical malpractice caused it.
When doctors fail to timely screen or properly treat ROP and the child is visually impaired or blind as a result, they have committed medical malpractice. As technology advances and education spreads, this type of malpractice is absolutely inexcusable.
That is why we focus on ROP cases. They may not affect a large portion of the population. However, the people who struggle with the aftermath of ROP blindness could be living a much different life if their trusted medical professionals had done their jobs correctly. Please schedule a free consultation with our birth injury lawyers. You can then find out how we can help you seek compensation for medical costs, lost wages and emotional trauma.