Retinopathy of Prematurity is when abnormal blood vessel growth develops in the eyes of premature infants. In infants born prematurely their eye development could be disrupted; blood vessels may stop growing or grow abnormally; or scar tissue may develop, resulting in the retina being pulled loose from the inner surface of the eye. If this condition is left undiagnosed and untreated, eye injuries, such as damaged retinas and blindness, can occur in the infant.
If oxygen is used improperly on an infant, the growth of blood vessels can be stimulated. Therefore both eye development and the use of oxygen need to be monitored carefully in order to check and stop development of any abnormal blood vessels. If oxygen is not what caused the condition, doctors will need to carefully monitor the blood vessel development in the eyes of premature infants and if the condition begins to develop, take prompt action.
Every year it is estimated that 15,000 premature infants born in the United States are affected by Retinopathy of Prematurity. Generally the disease develops in both eyes and is the most common reason for vision loss and blindness in children. Premature infants must be carefully monitored for the development of retinopathy of prematurity. The use of oxygen that fuels the development of abnormal blood vessels needs to be carefully controlled and stopped to prevent damage to the infant’s eyes. Identifying the disease early and treating it as soon as possible can prevent loss of sight from developing.
If you have had a child who has suffered vision loss, retinal damage, or blindness due to a doctor or hospital’s failure to diagnose the development of retinopathy of prematurity, or failed to begin treatment or surgical intervention once the condition started to develop, your child could be entitled to legal compensation. Contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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