A New York medical malpractice jury determined on Thursday, September 27, 2018, after a three-week trial, that the defendant hospital was liable to the plaintiff for medical negligence in the failure to timely and appropriately diagnose and treat a young woman’s glaucoma while she was pregnant, which led to her suffering near-total blindness.
The plaintiff was twenty-years-old and pregnant when she obtained prenatal care at the defendant hospital. In October 2011, when the plaintiff was seven months pregnant, the plaintiff first complained to her obstetrician that she was experiencing blurred vision. Over the course of six additional visits to her OB, the plaintiff continued to complain of pressure around her eyes and cloudy vision. Despite such worrisome complaints, she was not referred to an ophthalmologist to investigate and diagnose her visual complaints.
By the time the plaintiff gave birth to her son two months later, on December 7, 2011, she was unable to see her baby when the newborn was placed on her chest. She was examined at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai several weeks after she gave birth, at which time she was diagnosed with glaucoma. She underwent surgery one month later, but by then she had already suffered 90% blindness.
The now 27-year-old married mother of two stated after the New York medical malpractice jury found in her favor, “There’s no amount of money that can begin to make up for what was taken from me. I can’t take my kids to the park, or help them with their homework or watch a sunset, but I am grateful that the jury saw through the hospital’s lies and tried to give me justice.”
A spokesperson for the defendant hospital maintained after the verdict was rendered that the hospital had complied with the standard of care and complained that the jury’s verdict was excessive, stating that the hospital intended to file an appeal.
Glaucoma And Pregnancy
The Glaucoma Research Foundation stated on its website in October 2017:
“Studies of pregnant women with ocular hypertension (but not glaucoma) show that eye pressure decreases as pregnancy progresses. In the past, many believed that this natural reduction in eye pressure would stabilize glaucoma patients and reduce the need for treatment during pregnancy.
However, a recent study of pregnant women with glaucoma showed that up to 60% of women had worsening visual fields and/or eye pressure increase during pregnancy. We now know that the course of glaucoma among pregnant women is highly variable, so they must be monitored very closely.”
If you or a loved one may have been harmed as a result of undiagnosed or untreated glaucoma in New York or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a New York medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a glaucoma medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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