Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, sometimes called TTTS, only occurs in identical twins or higher-level multiples who share the same placenta. Fraternal twins do not share a placenta, so this is not a concern in these pregnancies.
TTTS is the most common serious complication that affects only twin pregnancies. According to the Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition, it occurs in up to 15% of all susceptible pregnancies. The possibility of perinatal morbidity and mortality is significant for both babies, although modern treatments have greatly improved their chances of survival.
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Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome Puts Both Babies in Harm’s Way
In TTTS, the shared placenta develops blood vessels to feed each baby the oxygenated blood and nutrients they need during gestation. At some point during this process, these vessels become imbalanced, taking the necessary nutrients and blood from one twin and oversupplying the other. This can cause problems for both babies:
- The donor twin who gives away their nutrients may fail to thrive, slow in growth and development, experience malnourishment, and eventually go into organ failure.
- The recipient twin’s organs will need to work overtime to pump the extra blood, potentially causing issues with their heart and other organ systems.
Without diagnosis and monitoring or treatment, symptoms are likely to develop quickly between 18 and 26 weeks of pregnancy. The condition is progressive and can result in the death of one or both twins when it is severe. Preterm delivery is also a significant risk to these babies, who are already at an increased risk of prematurity because of the multiple pregnancy.
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Recognizing TTTS and Monitoring the Babies Is Key to Their Survival
Failure to recognize TTTS or refusing to treat it when necessary significantly increases the risks of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. While many cases only call for regular ultrasounds and close monitoring of each baby’s growth and development, some require more extensive interventions.
The most effective treatment for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome is a minimally invasive procedure performed inside the uterus, known as endoscopic laser ablation. This procedure effectively removes the additional blood vessels to evenly distribute the blood flow from the placenta and ensure both babies get oxygenated blood and nutrients.
In some cases, this may also reduce the risk of preterm labor, or at least allow the mother to carry the babies longer. This decreases the likelihood of either baby having medical concerns related to extreme prematurity, possibly preventing them from developing birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, or vision loss.
Undiagnosed or Untreated Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome May Support a Birth Injury Claim
If you had twins who suffered TTTS but never received a diagnosis or treatment, and they suffered injuries, disabilities, or passed away as a result, this may have been due to medical negligence. It may be possible to hold the doctor or medical care facility accountable for the challenges your babies face or the death of your child.
How a Birth Injury Attorney Can Help with Your TTTS Case
Each state has its own time limits, process, and cap on potential medical malpractice damages. When you hire an attorney, they can assess your case, explain your options, and represent your family based on a contingent fee. You should not need to pay them anything upfront for their services.
The evidence required in these cases includes:
- Records documenting the monitoring of the pregnancy
- Your children’s medical records detailing their condition
- A medical expert’s opinion stating that medical malpractice occurred
Your lawyer will help you gather this evidence, including enlisting the help of the expert, who will testify on your behalf if your case goes to trial. They will also assign liability and navigate the claims process on your behalf, seeking a settlement that compensates your family for medical bills, pain and suffering, and your children’s ongoing and future care needs, if applicable.
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Discuss Your Legal Options for Taking Action with Our Team Today
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we understand how important it is to you to hold the at-fault doctor or clinic accountable following your children’s injuries. We can help you today, providing a free assessment of your case and outlining your options. You may be able to file a claim or take the case to trial based on the facts available.
Call (800) 222-9529 today and let our team review your case for free.