Stages and Zones of ROP

Close Monitoring is Crucial to Prevent Blindness in Babies

Birth injury attorneys explain the stages and zones of ROP.Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) occurs when blood vessels in the eyes of premature babies grow abnormally. Some cases correct themselves over time with little damage. However, ROP is a leading cause of newborn baby blindness when physicians fail to monitor and respond to the child’s conditions appropriately.

For more than 30 years, our team has helped families struggling with newborn babies who went blind after developing ROP. We can offer resources to help you adapt to your child’s blindness, and all the new challenges you suddenly face. This website provides you with information your family may need. Below we explain the progression of ROP.

The International Classification of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ICROP) recognizes three zones and five stages of ROP. An ROP diagnosis will contain both a zone and a stage, and we can use this information to determine if the hospital ignored your child’s symptoms or failed to respond fast enough.

What are the Zones of ROP?

In ROP cases, “zones” refer to specific locations of the eye. There are three zones: Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3. Zone 1 covers the optic nerve in the center, Zone 2 covers the area just outside of Zone 1. Zone 3 consists of a crescent-shaped area beyond Zone 2.

When ROP threatens to cause serious injury via a detached retina in a baby, doctors use special language to describe it, such as “pre-threshold.” The chance for a detached retina in infants increases as the stage of the disease progresses. Stage 3 disease, in any zone, in the presence of plus disease, mandates immediate surgery in order to preserve vision.

What are the Stages of ROP?

There are five stages of ROP, each of which refer to the severity of the condition. Stage 1 is the least severe, and Stage 5 is defined as “total retinal detachment.” Stage 1 and Stage 2 will not directly lead to blindness or other severe injury. However, they can progress to dangerous stages if left untreated. Once the disease reaches Stage 4 (partial retinal detachment) or Stage 5 (total retinal detachment), the child will suffer from blindness or other lifelong effects of ROP.

Contact Birth Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Qualified medical teams must monitor children born prematurely to ensure that ROP does not advance. There are ROP treatment options that prevent the disease from reaching this stage. Thus, failure to address and treat this progression could constitute medical malpractice and birth injury. If your child went blind from ROP, we can find out what went wrong and who is responsible. We offer free consultations to all families. Furthermore, we advance the costs to ensure all families affected by ROP blindness have access to the resources available to them.