A number of tests are used to diagnose twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). A doctor may first begin to suspect this disorder after a regular prenatal ultrasound. At that point, more advanced testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis and determine treatment paths.
Other tests could include measurement of the amniotic fluid volume and an examination of the blood flow of both twins. A close examination of the fetal hearts is also a necessity. All of these tests can show if twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome is present.
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Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Defined
Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome can occur in pregnancies with multiples and identical twins. In these pregnancies, twins share one placenta and its life support functions. Normally, these blood vessels supply both fetuses with the nutrients and oxygen that they need to thrive. In cases of twin-to-twin transfusion, they do not.
The problem arises when there is an imbalance in these vessel connections. One twin begins to give away more blood than it receives. This is the “donor twin,” making the other the “recipient twin.” This condition is dangerous for both fetuses.
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Dangers of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome
This ailment presents different dangers for each twin. The “donor” could end up suffering malnourishment. They could also experience organ failure.
The “recipient” is at risk as well. The increased blood volume, also known as hypervolemia, can cause many health issues. For example, it can overwhelm the capacity of the cardiovascular system. In extreme situations, this can lead to heart failure and even death.
Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome also affects the amniotic fluid volume. Amniotic fluid is crucial to the development of a fetus and having too much or too little of it can lead to more risks. This can even result in preterm labor.
Treatment for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome
Depending on the severity of the twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a care team can take multiple approaches to treatment. Examples include the following.
Management of TTTS
In a mild case, the doctor and team monitor the health of both twins with ultrasound and other medical techniques. Any changes to their conditions could lead to other steps being taken.
If there is too much amniotic fluid present, an amnioreduction is needed. Draining the excess fluid from the recipient twin’s sac can help fix blood flow issues and improve the health of both twins.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure is often used in cases where monitoring and amnioreduction treatment methods are not enough. A surgeon identifies the abnormal blood vessel connections in the amniotic sac and then uses lasers to shut off these vessels. After a few days, the condition of both twins is checked again using ultrasound and fetal echocardiography.
In some cases, the best way to protect the mother and children is through an early delivery. This can occur when a care team is managing the condition and notices changes in the conditions of both twins.
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If You Suspect Malpractice
According to some recent studies and John Hopkins Medicine, medical errors are now one of the leading causes of death in the United States. If you believe that an error was made in treating or diagnosing twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in your infants, you may be entitled to compensation.
A plaintiff who believes that their care team made a mistake and caused them or their babies harm may be able to sue for damages, which can help cover the cost of medical bills and other losses. In the worst-case scenario, they could pursue wrongful death damages in a settlement that takes the untimely death of an infant and the pain and suffering of the family into account.
Why Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer
Consulting a lawyer can help you learn more about your legal options and do much to help you with your case. Hiring a lawyer means:
Less Worry About the Statute of Limitations Running Out
The statute of limitations gives you a certain amount of time to begin pursuing a medical malpractice or wrongful death suit. The deadline differs by state, but an attorney could help you quickly file your case and get the legal process started no matter where you live.
An Attorney Helps Gather Evidence
Your lawyer will gather the evidence needed to show that you were wronged and that other parties should be held liable. They can even bring in expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
You Have an Advocate
A lawyer acts as your advocate at every turn, fighting for the best possible legal outcome for you and your family.
Get Your Free Consultation Today
If you believe that you have a case and are entitled to compensation, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529. A free consultation will help you learn more about your legal options and how a lawyer can assist you.