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El Paso Ophthalmologist Sued in Infant Blindness Case
by Chris Roberts, El Paso Times

An El Paso ophthalmologist is the target of a lawsuit announced Thursday by attorneys representing Jesus and Elizabeth De La O, who claim the doctor's "gross negligence" resulted in their infant daughter's blindness.

"This is medical malpractice and gross negligence that, in my opinion, is borderline criminal because it continued time after time, child after child," said Domingo A. Garcia, co-counsel on the case.

Dr. Jorge Fabio Llamas-Soforo, and his El Paso Eye Care Center, also are named in two similar lawsuits filed in Dallas, and attorneys said they are looking at at least four other cases that might involve the doctor's alleged negligence. The two other cases, which also accuse Las Palmas Medical Center, Providence Memorial Hospital and their parent companies of negligence, were filed in Dallas, attorneys said.

"We take this very seriously," said Terri Wyatt, administrative director for marketing and communications for HCA, which operates Las Palmas. "The care of our patients is always in the forefront of our decision-making process."

Calls seeking comment from Llamas-Soforo and Providence weren't immediately returned Thursday.

All the children - who suffer from various levels of blindness ranging from total loss of sight in both eyes to impairment that qualifies as "legally blind" - were born premature and were afflicted by a condition called "retinopathy of premature," said William B. Curtis, the lead attorney on the case.

Llamas-Soforo had "no specialized pediatric training," and failed to diagnose and properly treat the condition, Curtis said.

Timely treatment would have "virtually assured" that the toddler's vision would have been saved, the attorneys said, and her present condition is untreatable. The other cases involve the same circumstances, according to court documents.
 

blysssful

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Man, maybe those OMDs should hand their peds to ODs to avoid these cases.
 
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PBEA

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"This is medical malpractice and gross negligence that, in my opinion, is borderline criminal because it continued time after time, child after child," said Domingo A. Garcia, co-counsel on the case.

This article really makes you wonder what the HELL business a general OMD has seeing anybody with a retinal condition. I bolded the part that most concerns me. I have to wonder if these cases should really be seen by retina and only retina. I suppose that extra training in fellowship might separate the "men from the boys". Reminds me of a recent case of mine. 5yo, no significant hx, routine DFE shows horsehoe tear. NONE of the pedes OMDs wanted to see the kid, and NONE of the retina docs wanted to see the kid. I finally found a retina doc who agreed to see, and eventually treat.
 

362.04

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Blysssful,

ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) is usually a hospital-based problem and usually involved an in-patient. In this case, it is an infant usually cared for in the Pediatric Unit or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Therefore, it is unlikely that an optometrist who traditionally lacks access to hospital-based patients would ever see an ROP patient on initial presentation.
 

blysssful

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Blysssful,

ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) is usually a hospital-based problem and usually involved an in-patient. In this case, it is an infant usually cared for in the Pediatric Unit or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Therefore, it is unlikely that an optometrist who traditionally lacks access to hospital-based patients would ever see an ROP patient on initial presentation.

I was making a joke in reference to the thread that's going on in the optho forum... which is why this article is presenting itself in this forum to begin with :laugh:
 

Meibomian SxN

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Blysssful,

ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) is usually a hospital-based problem and usually involved an in-patient. In this case, it is an infant usually cared for in the Pediatric Unit or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Therefore, it is unlikely that an optometrist who traditionally lacks access to hospital-based patients would ever see an ROP patient on initial presentation.

WRONG! Many cases of ROP can develop even after discharge from the hospital. The case here is whether the oMD was negligent in diagnosing and treating the ROP. We as eye care professionals know that timely diagnosis and treatment is critical in reducing the amount of retinal damage done in ROP, and if they prove that the doctor missed blatent diagnosis then his malpractice insurance is doomed.
 

362.04

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Dear Meibomian SxN,

Before you jump to conclusions and like to "correct" the lowly optometrists., please note that I said USUALLY!

And I have to say that most optometrists won't be seeing earlier than 1 year children in private practice.

I wasn't cavalier in my comment and I hope your tone was not condescending, although I sense the usual ophthalmologist tone there.
 
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