Pediatric retinoblastoma is a fast-growing eye cancer that affects approximately 1 in every 15,000 babies and young children. Pediatricians are supposed to screen for the disease and look for the presence of a white reflection in the eye in every checkup after the birth of the child. Unfortunately, the development of an infant’s eyes is often overlooked by parents and pediatricians. We’ve seen cases where medical negligence such as diagnosis errors, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose allowed the cancer to progress without proper treatment. The result can be blindness, or even death.
Professional Eye Care
InfantSEE, a public health program, is designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an essential part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life. The program offers a free comprehensive infant eye assessment between 6 and 12 months of age as a no-cost public service. The service was developed due to the widespread lack of proper infant eyecare.
Two years ago, a new app called White Eye Detector came to market that aids in early detection of eye diseases. The most common sign of pediatric retinoblastoma is a white glow in the center of the eye. Typically, parents are the first to detect the disease through observing the eye’s white appearance through pictures of the child. White Eye Detector is able to scan for white eyes by scanning all your phone’s pictures of your child and detecting “white eye.” Also, with the flashlight feature on, you can hold up the phone to your child’s eyes, and the software will detect “white eye” as the camera hovers near the baby’s face.
Trust Your Gut
Attorney William Ruffier, who specializes in these cases, adds that “another sign parents should look for is strabismus, or crossed eyes. In the cases where I’ve represented children suffering a retinoblastoma, the parents usually commented that they thought something was unusual about their child’s eye. As a parent, trust your gut and seek medical attention for your child.”
William Ruffier is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer at Dellecker Wilson King McKenna Ruffier and Sos in Orlando, Florida.