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June 8, 2009

Retinopathy of Prematurity Malpractice Claims

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2009 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2009

Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(6):803-804. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2009.117

It is not an exaggeration to describe the current practice environment for ophthalmologists caring for neonates at risk for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) as a crisis; there are increasing liability claims and judgments against ophthalmologists for ROP and a worsening scarcity of ophthalmologists willing to treat ROP. Newspaper headlines and academic journals document the record malpractice judgments related to ROP. Although there is no evidence that blindness from ROP is increasing in the United States, Day et al1 describe the experience of one ophthalmic malpractice insurance provider, showing a disproportionately high number of claims and large indemnity judgments related to ROP.

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