The common types of eye injuries caused by retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) include retinal detachment and blindness. Some infants with this condition may also experience eye injuries that include:
- Crossed eyes
- Lazy eye
Several factors may contribute to the severity of a retinopathy of prematurity diagnosis, including early detection, early intervention, and treatment options. Infections, gestational age at birth, and coexisting medical conditions may also contribute to the eye injuries the disorder causes.
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The Financial Impact of Retinopathy of Prematurity
Just as the degree of severity of your child’s retinopathy of prematurity may determine their visual acuity or vision loss in the future, it also plays a role in determining its financial impact on your family. How medical professionals must treat your child’s retinopathy of prematurity may dictate many of your current and anticipated expenses.
Accurately valuing your monetary damages might be complicated on your own because it may involve getting medical records from various sources and assigning a value to anticipated and intangible portions of your compensation lawsuit. When you seek financial compensation from the at-fault party, your recoverable damages may include:
- All injury-related medical bills
- Required assistive medical devices
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional trauma
- Injury-related parental income loss
A medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you define your economic and non-economic damages.
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There Is a Deadline to Sue for Medical Negligence
Every state puts a legal deadline, also known as the statute of limitations, on medical malpractice cases. Some states also have rules that extend the general deadline when the malpractice victim is under a certain age. Such an extension may apply to your birth injury case.
An attorney who operates in your state can give you information on what specific deadlines pertain to your right to sue.
Elements Required to Prove Medical Neglect
When you receive medical care, you are entitled to treatment that meets or exceeds the acceptable standard. If the care you received did not meet the standard expected of medical professionals with largely the same degree of training and experience, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit for your resultant injuries.
You do not have to prove medical neglect or its financial consequences on your own. A lawyer may be able to help prove that you or your child did not receive adequate health care. Your lawyer may also be able to use your medical records and expert testimonials to prove you are entitled to financial compensation due to medical negligence.
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The Five Stages of Retinopathy of Prematurity
A diagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity confirms the disorder and may also indicate its stage of severity and corresponding treatment plan. Retinopathy of prematurity’s stages range from Stage 1 to Stage 5.
Stage 1 represents the mildest forms of retinopathy of prematurity. At this stage, doctors may forgo aggressive treatment in favor of thorough and routine monitoring. In many mild cases, the damage may heal over time. The physicians and ophthalmologists who treat your son or daughter may conduct frequent eye exams to ensure the condition does not deteriorate.
Stage 5 represents retinopathy of prematurity in its severest form. In this stage, your child might suffer from retinal detachment. Although treatment may be possible at this stage, retinopathy of prematurity at this point can also result in total vision loss. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), anywhere from 400 to 600 babies with retinopathy of prematurity become legally blind as a result of this condition each year in the U.S.
Depending on the degree of severity, retinopathy of prematurity treatments may include:
- Laser surgery or cryotherapy procedures to inhibit blood vessel growth
- Scleral buckling to secure the retina
- Vitrectomy to remove the fluid that fills the eye and allow the retina to be repaired
Your child’s physicians and ophthalmologists may work together to ensure your child receives the appropriate treatment and that you understand the prognosis for their future. If medical negligence caused your child’s injuries, a birth injury lawyer may help you understand your options for financial compensation via a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Get Help from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today
If your premature son or daughter has retinopathy of prematurity that might damage their eyesight now or in the future, you may have the basis of a birth injury lawsuit. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group helps parents nationwide with these types of cases. Learn more about how the severity of your baby’s ROP may impact your case by calling us today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case review.