A Pennsylvania jury has awarded a 6-year old boy $20 million in a medical malpractice case after he went blind almost immediately following his birth. Those held responsible by the verdict included the hospital, the head of the neonatology unit, the hospital’s pediatric opthamologist, and the boy’s pediatrician.
The boy was born premature and developed retinapathy of prematurity, an eye disease common in premature babies. While in the hospital, the infant was discovered to have an early stage of the disease, but was discharged without any caution that the eye disease was an urgent issue or instructions to immediately folllow up with an eye specialist. By the time the family got in for an appointment with the specialist several weeks later, the boy was blind.
Although the infant has been awarded fair compensation for medical malpractice, this was a tragedy that could have been avoided.