In a perfect world, all newborn babies would be born healthy, and have received the best of care. Sadly, the quality of healthcare in the U.S. today has deteriorated substantially. More and more expectant moms are shortchanged, even in their prenatal care (the time period from pregnancy to shortly before the birth); at times, this occurs in high risk pregnancies, where pregnant moms have gestational diabetes. This is especially concerning, because of the potential for complications such as macrosomia, where the baby is seen on an ultrasound to have a larger than normal head. The size and stature of the expectant mother is equally important. High blood pressure (preeclampsia) during the last trimester of labor raises many red flags; it can cause complications that can affect the newborn’s wellbeing. The more questions the mother asks her obstetrician, the better informed she is, alerting her doctor to any signs that might impact an otherwise healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Retinopathy of Prematurity
Given the grievances from the medical profession that there are too many medical malpractice lawsuits, it would follow that the public should not have to worry about the quality of care that is actually given. Sadly, based on results, far too little attention is being given to these extremely at risk, vulnerable, tiny infants- frequently little more than one pound at birth. The at-risk population for Retinopathy of Prematurity is mostly found among “micro-preemies”, babies born at 21-30 weeks gestational age at birth.
Years ago, such tiny babies would never have survived; however, given the advent of new technology and better understanding of this disease, these tiny babies can thrive. They must live in a specialized environment (the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU) at hospitals specifically equipped to handle these infants, which would be ophthalmological in this case. One would hope medical providers would have taken corrective action in their practices. When medical providers do their jobs correctly, that means attorneys don’t have any clients to represent for Retinopathy of Prematurity. Evidently, that is not the case.
Any parent that has the potential for having a premature child should be discussing Retinopathy of Prematurity with their pediatrician; in the hospital setting, the pediatricians who specialize in working with newborn infants are called neonatologists. Parents should be asking that doctor if their child’s eyes have been examined, and if not, immediately scheduling an appointment. That aforementioned screening exam and the many examinations after it, are crucial to maintaining sight in a child that is extremely premature.
Oftentimes, what causes the Medical Malpractice that ensues in Retinopathy of Prematurity is that the Doctor leaves the hospital for some (typically personal) reason, resulting in them being unavailable. This can sadly ensue in the baby being forced to sit in utero for too long- a state in which myriad problems can arise.
As a result, they leave the hospital thinking that the medical practitioners in question are genuinely faultless. Frequently, it is not until they are looking up “baby blindness” that they see the website of law firms like ours. They ask themselves, “why would a law firm be involved with Retinopathy of Prematurity?”
Additionally, there exists an unfortunate common thread with many parents whose children are suffering from Retinopathy of Prematurity: they often do not know that there was any potential malpractice involved before they reach out to our firm for consultation. For some colleagues of ours who specialize in neonatal malpractice, around three-quarters of the cases where they have gotten calls, the parents are unaware of this issue until they reach out to them. Ultimately, they realize that the tragedy that occurred to their child is something preventable.
Please call us as soon as possible for consultation regarding any neonatal, birth, or infant trauma.