Realizing your newborn baby may be affected by Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) can be devastating, as it can potentially lead to lifelong vision impairment and blindness if not treated correctly and immediately. ROP, however, is not the same for every baby. The National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute acknowledges that there are five different states of ROP which range from mild to severe.  They identify these stages as:


  • Stage I. Blood vessel growth is only mildly abnormal and many children at Stage I will improve with no treatment and eventually develop normal vision. The disease is simply able to resolve on its own.


  • Stage II. Blood vessel growth is moderately abnormal, but many children still can improve with no treatment and end up with normal vision.


  • Stage III. Blood vessel growth is severely abnormal and the abnormal blood vessels grow toward the center of the eye instead of following their normal growth pattern along the surface of the retina. Stage III can go either way for babies – some can improve with no treatment and develop normal vision. For others, if a "plus disease" develops, treatment may be necessary. A "plus disease" means that the retina's blood vessels have become enlarged and twisted. This signifies that the disease has gotten worse, but treatment will usually prove to be very effective.


  • Stage IV. The retina is partially detached at Stage IV and traction from the scar produced by bleeding, abnormal vessels pulls the retina away from the wall of the eye.


  • Stage V. At this end stage of the disease, the retina is completely detached. Without treatment, the baby can have severe visual impairment or even become completely blind.


Most babies develop Stage I or Stage II ROP and there is a lot of hope for healing if issues are caught early and dealt with correctly.


Did your child develop ROP that was not properly treated by your doctor in Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas? Contact the birth injury lawyers at Girards Law for a free consultation at 888.897.2762.