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How can medical negligence cause baby blindness at birth?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

The birth of a new baby should be a wonderful, happy time for the whole family. We trust healthcare professionals to deliver babies safely which, most of the time, is the case. 

Unfortunately, there are occasions where the result of professional negligence is a serious injury or birth defect such as permanent blindness or visual impairment. How can medical malpractice have the serious consequence of blindness at birth? 

A traumatic birth 

This may occur when a healthcare professional improperly uses instruments, or even their hands, during the birthing process. 

A baby’s eyes are very delicate and sensitive. They can be easily damaged if proper care and attention are not given when they’re being delivered. Improper use of tools such as a vacuum or forceps can result in significant eye damage and blindness.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) 

ROP is a condition that affects premature babies. They develop abnormal blood vessels around the eye which cause pressure and permanent damage to the retina if not identified early and treated. 

Healthcare professionals working with premature babies are all trained to look out for the risk factors of ROP.  A failure to detect it and administer treatment can result in vision impairment or, in the worst-case scenario, permanent blindness. 

Other factors that can contribute to blindness in babies through malpractice: 

  • Improper delay in carrying out a c-section 
  • A failure to respond to fetal distress 
  • Oxygen deprivation 
  • Not recognizing and treating an STI in the mother 

Baby blindness caused by medical malpractice is life-changing for both a child and their parents. Seeking legal assistance can help with making a claim for compensation where your child has been injured as a result of negligence.