Neurological Visual Impairment (NVI) and Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)

Neurological visual impairment (NVI), also known as cortical visual impairment (CVI) or cortical blindness, is a kind of vision impairment that happens due to damage to the highly vulnerable visual cortex of the brain. This part of the brain is situated farthest from the blood supply. NVI doesn't involve any issue in the cornea, retina, or eyeball.

DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers has extensive experience in handling all type of birth injury cases including Neurological Visual Impairment and Cortical Visual Impairment matters. Consultations are always free and you will never be responsible for any legal fees unless we are able to recover compensation for your child.

Causes of NVI

Almost eighty percent of babies who have cerebral palsy suffer from some extent of NVI. There can be several causes of such vision impairment including birth injury due to medical malpractice. Major causes of NVI are:

  • Central nervous system infections, e.g., meningitis and encephalitis
  • Head injury
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Perinatal hypoxia
  • Perinatal ischemia

Diagnosis and Prognosis

The diagnosis of NVI is usually made upon the eye examination of the newborn where the baby has poor or no visual response to stimuli. The degree of impairment might be mild to severe and might be temporary or permanent. Children who take Dilantin, Phenobarbital, or Tegretol for seizure control, may observe fluctuating vision commonly. Children may also have better peripheral vision as compared to central vision due to anti-seizure medicine. As a result they may observe objects from the corner of their eyes.

Many of the NVI affected children can see, but it requires a lot of effort. It is similar to speaking a foreign language. Many children find the effort needed to make out the figures and spatial associations so difficult that they resort to touching rather than sight. They tend to avert their eyes from objects and remain visually inattentive and explore with their hands. Children having NVI get help from visual stimulation that includes color identification, objects tracking and shapes identification.

Medical Malpractice and NVI

Medical errors that may lead to neurological visual impairment include:

Hydrocephalus - Also referred to as "water on the brain", hydrocephalus is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the baby's skull that can cause many forms of brain damage.

Perinatal Hypoxia - It happens by partial or total loss of the infant's oxygen supply during labor or delivery. Since there is distance between the blood supply and visual cortex, even short disruptions in the flow of oxygenated blood may result in permanent damage.

Nervous System Infections - Infections that affect the central nervous system, for example meningitis, can result in NVI. Such infections may occur due to medical malpractice and it may be medical negligence in failing to timely diagnose and treat the infection.

Head Trauma -Use of excessive force by the doctor and improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction during delivery can cause head injury to the infant damaging the visual cortex resulting in NVI.

Free Initial Consultation · No Attorney's Fees Unless You Recover Compensation

If you have a child who suffers from neurological visual impairment, cortical visual impairment, or cortical blindness call us. Our office will perform a thorough and objective analysis as to whether medical malpractice caused your child's birth injury. We consult with medical experts from outside of the local area to confirm whether medical negligence caused your child's injuries.

To speak with a birth injury attorney about your case, call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers at 315-479-9000 or contact us online. We offer evening and weekend appointments as well as home and hospital visits. Based in Syracuse, we conveniently offer multiple office locations throughout upstate New York.

Consultations are always free and you will never be responsible for legal fees unless we are able to recover compensation for your child.