About ten percent of identical twins (and other identical multiple babies) develop a complication known as twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). In cases involving twin to twin transfusion syndrome, nutrients from the mother’s placenta are disproportionately shared by the fetuses.
Medical terminology related to twin-to-twin cases
With twins, the baby receiving more blood flow is known as the ‘recipient’ while the baby receiving the diminished flow is considered the ‘donor’. Both recipient and donor babies are at risk for serious complications if doctors fail to identify and treat this condition.
In particular, the excess blood supply may cause the recipient baby to develop problems with their heart and lungs while the reduced blood supply may contribute to developmental problems and even brain damage or cerebral palsy.
Diagnosing & Treating Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Cases
Without any known hereditary or genetic causes, every woman pregnant with identical fetuses should be carefully screened to by her treating physician to identify the development of the condition as soon as feasible.
A complete blood count (CBC) or ultrasound may offer information suggestive of the condition. When evaluating the ultasound, the following may be indicative of TTTS:
- Different umbilical cord sizes
- Different sizes in the amniotic sacs
- Substantial differences in the size of the fetuses
- Differences in the amniotic fluid levels
Medical interventions available to correct this condition
Modern medicine now enables doctors to treat twin to twin transfusion syndrome with the use of interventions intended to equalize the blood flow to the developing fetuses. Today, specialists can use amniocentesis or laser surgery to equalize the blood flow during the critical developmental stages. When feasible, a treating physician may elect to induce labor to reduce the chance of further TTTS complications.
Chicago Birth Injury Attorneys
When you suspect that an OB/GYN’s negligence in diagnosing or treating your babies twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome resulted in injury or death to one or both twins, begin the process of exploring your legal options with a nationally recognized birth injury law firm. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has worked with other parents facing similar issues and has the resources to bring closure to an incredibly challenging period in your life.