CHOP Scientists: Vaccines Don’t Cause Retinal Bleeding in Children

Published on in CHOP News

CHOP researchers have debunked the claim that childhood vaccinations may cause young children to have retinal hemorrhage (bleeding in the eye’s retina). This claim has sometimes been used in court as a defense in child abuse cases.

Gil Binenbaum, MD, MSCE, a pediatric ophthalmologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, led a study published Sept. 3 in JAMA Ophthalmology. Analyzing records of thousands of ophthalmology examinations in infants, the researchers found that retinal hemorrhages were extremely rare among young children, and that none had occurred within a week of vaccination. “The small number of cases of retinal hemorrhage that did occur in this age group were all associated with child abuse,” said Binenbaum.