Retinopathy of prematurity lawsuits are personal injury lawsuits filed by the parents of children who suffered severe vision impairments due to medical negligence. The condition usually affects babies born before the 32nd week of pregnancy and if it is left untreated it can lead to permanent blindness.
The causes of the condition are usually natural, the main risk factor being of course the premature birth. Other risk factors include bleedings in the baby’s brain, respiratory and heart problems, low levels of iron in the blood and seizure. However medical negligence can also contribute to the appearance or the worsening of the disease. For example the improper use of mechanical ventilation or the exposure of the newborn to toxins can lead to the development of ROP.
Babies born with risk factors should be examined periodically and proper treatment should be applied promptly, to prevent further damages to the eye and to preserve the child’s vision. If doctors fail to perform these exams, to recognize the obvious signs or to apply the proper treatment, the condition might worsen. In that case they can be held legally responsible.
However in order to be eligible for financial compensation, parents will have to prove that medical negligence was indeed the cause of the condition. Doing that might be difficult, considering that the smallest and sickest babies are the ones mostly exposed to retinopathy of prematurity. As the medical science develops, more prematurely born babies can be saved. Unfortunately their chances of developing the condition are the highest. Therefore parents whose baby suffered severe vision impairments after being diagnosed with the condition should consult a retinopathy of prematurity lawyer even if they are not sure about the causes. An experienced attorney can conduct an investigation, analyze the details of the case and establish whether there is a valid legal claim. Only after that filing a lawsuit is an action worth taking.