When Could Childhood Blindness be Due to Medical Malpractice in Oregon
The birth of a child is typically a wonderful, life changing event for parents of the baby being born. Most babies are born naturally without any complications. Unfortunately, there are times when a baby suffers a complication shortly before labor and delivery, during labor and delivery, or not long after labor and delivery. One significant complication that sometimes occurs is impairment in vision or even complete blindness. Additionally, some children experience blindness at a later age which is not related to their birth. While there are some cases of childhood blindness that occur as the result of a birth defect, childhood illness, injury, or extreme prematurity, there are times when a baby suffers from vision impairment or blindness due to a healthcare provider’s error. When childhood blindness due to medical malpractice occurs due to a physician or other healthcare provider’s error, victims may be compensated under the law.
What Causes Visual Impairment or Blindness at Birth or Shortly After?
There are many reasons a child may suffer from visual impairments of blindness. Causes of childhood blindness and visual impairments include the following:
- Birth defects
- Trauma during childbirth
- Genetic abnormalities
- Conditions a mother experienced prenatally
- Deprivation of oxygen during birth
- Pediatric cancers
- Eye injury at birth
- Eye injury during childhood
- Neurological impairment
- Brain damage
- Abnormalities of the eye structurally
Signs That a Baby May Have Suffered Visual Impairment at Birth
- Eyes move quickly from side to side in a jerky motion
- Eyes do not follow a person’s face
- Baby fails to track objects
- Baby’s eyes do not react when light is turned on
- Pupils appear cloudy
- Eyes do not appear straight
How Can a Child’s Visual Impairment or Childhood Blindness be Caused by Medical Malpractice?
While there are many unfortunate cases of childhood blindness or visual impairment not caused by medical malpractice, there are cases in which a child now suffers from visual alterations due to a healthcare provider’s error. Examples as to how medical malpractice can cause these visual abnormalities include the following:
- Brain injury at birth due to a medical provider’s error
- Hypoxic brain injury
- Anoxic brain injury
- Failing to respond to fetal distress during labor
- Delaying a c-section when it is truly indicated due to health risks with the mother or baby
- Failing to identify umbilical cord compression
- Overuse of Pitocin, a labor inducing drug that can lead to uterine tachysystole (excessive contractions)
- Failing to resuscitate the infant in a timely manner after birth if the baby is in distress
- Optic nerve lesions due to cerebral palsy
- Deficient oxygenation of the mother due to anesthesia errors
- Failing to identify placental abruptions
- Failing to treat a mother’s low blood pressure, anemia, lung disease or heart disease
- Failing to diagnose and treat childhood cancer of the eye in a timely manner
- Failing to treat a childhood injury to the eye
- Failing to treat an infection, leading to blindness or visual impairment (i.e meningitis, cellulitis, etc.)
Ask Our Childhood Blindness Lawyers for Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.