Medicine: R.LF.

Medical skill has made dramatic gains during recent years in saving the lives of premature babies, but along with this advance a disturbing fact was noted: among babies weighing less than three pounds at birth, about one out of eight went blind, usually in both eyes. Those weighing three to five pounds were less susceptible. By one estimate, the price of the advance in science was that 500 U.S. babies a year might be afflicted.

Seven years ago the disease was described and tagged with the forbidding name of retrolental fibroplasia—because it seemed to be a growth of abnormal, fibrous tissue behind...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!