Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Treatment

Affecting premature and underweight infants, Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a condition in which abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes causes:

  • the development of scar tissue
  • some degree of detachment between the retina and the eye's inner layers
  • vision loss, ranging from mild nearsightedness to blindness

Babies most likely to develop Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) include those who experience:

  • bleeding in the brain
  • blood transfusions
  • high carbon dioxide levels in the body
  • irregular breathing when sleeping (apnea)
  • low levels of iron in the blood (anemia)
  • mechanical ventilation treatment
  • seizures
  • slow heart rate (bradycardia)

Similarly, newborns have a higher risk of developing retinopathy of prematurity if their mothers:

  • Smoke during pregnancy.
  • Develop gestational diabetes.
  • Experience high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia).

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) won't be detectable immediately following birth, as even healthy newborns can't properly focus their eyes during the first few weeks of life. However, infants identified as having a high risk of retinopathy of prematurity should receive regular eye exams in the months following birth.

When symptoms do arise, they tend to include:

  • crossed eyes
  • turned out eyes
  • vision impairment

Upon recognizing these symptoms in babies, ophthalmologists will perform imaging tests to detect scar tissue and pinpoint the degree of retina detachment (i.e how severe the condition is).

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Treatment Options

While the precise course of Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) treatment will depend on the severity of a patient's condition, in most cases, treatment for retinopathy of prematurity will include some combination of:

  • cyrotherapy, freezing retinal tissues
  • laser therapy
  • scleral buckling, a surgery during which a band is placed around the eye to hold the retina to the eye's inner layers
  • prescription eyewear, including glasses or contact lenses, for life
  • assistive technologies, such as special computer programs or voice-activated equipment, for those with severe loss of vision or total blindness

For the best possible outcomes, it's essential that treatment begin immediately and continue for as long as specialists prescribe. Delays in treatment can cause retinopathy of prematurity to worsen, which may result in blindness.

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Lawsuits

When medical mistakes have caused or intensified an infant's case of Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), families will be entitled to compensation for their:

  • past hospital bills
  • ongoing treatment costs
  • permanent disabilities
  • future costs of living (if a permanent disability prevents an Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) patient from earning a living)
  • pain and suffering

Instances of medical malpractice that can contribute to the development of Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) include:

  • exposing newborns to toxins
  • improperly using oxygen therapy following birth
  • failing to provide timely, regular eye exams to high risk infants
  • failing to diagnose Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) when symptoms of this condition are clearly present
  • failing to promptly or adequately treat Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)

Parents of children diagnosed with Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) can find out if they have a case and are entitled to a settlement by setting up a free initial consultation with an Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) lawyer.

Has your baby been diagnosed with Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)? If so, contact an experienced Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) attorney who can evaluate your case and help you win the compensation you and your family deserves.