Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

As a child advocate and attorney, Jeff Killino is at the forefront of medical malpractice issues and has experience and compassion in handling twin pregnancy cases. As a knowledgeable birth-injury lawyer, he will handle your claim and guide you through the legal process. Many medical malpractice lawsuits stem from claims for birth injuries involving the birth process as well as problems in the womb that are often preventable.

As an experienced birth-injury attorney, Jeff Killino is committed to defending individuals and families faced with the emotional and financial hardships associated with birth trauma. As a champion for children and parents, he will examine every factor involved in the birthing process and fight to assure that his clients receive the compensation to which they are entitled. Call attorney Killino at 877-875-2927 for a cost-free evaluation of your legal options.

Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome is a pregnancy complication that may occur when a woman is carrying twins. When TTTS occurs, the placenta is unable to provide the right amount of blood and nutrients between what is known as monochorionic twins in uteri. This condition may occur when the blood vessels of the two fetuses are connected, but one twin gets more blood flow than the other twin from a shared placenta. Medical experts consider this a dangerous condition with severe implications.

In a pregnancy that has not progressed to week 26, TTTS can cause the death of both fetuses or lead to severe disabilities if the children are born. If, on the other hand, the gestational period reaches beyond the 26-week mark, both twins can usually be delivered without any permanent damage.

The twin who filters all of the blood for both twins is known as the donor twin and generally becomes smaller and loses what doctors call amniotic fluid. This fetus will not develop or mature properly, primarily because most of its energy is exerted via the blood filtering process. The fetus that gets more than the needed amount of blood to survive is commonly referred to as the recipient twin. This fetus can also experience problems because too much blood is flowing through the twin and its system gets overworked. The incidence of potential brain damage, including severe cerebral lesions, increase in twin-to-twin transfusions.

Statistics and Treatment

TTTS affects as many as 15 percent of identical twin pregnancies and an estimated 6,000 babies a year. If the disorder begins in the first two trimesters, one or both babies are not likely to survive without medical intervention.

According to an article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome may be acute or chronic and has an 80 to 100% death rate if it is severe and left untreated. TTTS can happen at any time during a pregnancy and various risks are associated with this disorder. Treatment options include laser surgery to repair the placenta and normalize blood flow. This procedure is known as fetoscopic laser ablation. In this operation, doctors make a tiny puncture in the woman’s abdomen and insert an endoscope so that the surgeon may treat the vessels that are allowing an unequal exchange of blood between fetuses. The procedure employs a laser beam to coagulate the blood in these vessels, essentially blocking them, and is performed in only a small number of hospitals throughout the world.

Legal Liability for Twin-to-twin Transfusion Syndrome Injuries

Medical malpractice may contribute to injuries sustained by a child as a result of the negligent handling or treatment of TTTS. Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome is considered a complication of pregnancy that must be properly treated to avoid or mitigate injuries to one or both twins.

Failure to Diagnose TTTS

The failure of an obstetrician to diagnose twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome may constitute medical malpractice and result in liability on the part of the obstetrician and the hospital or clinic that employs the obstetrician for injuries sustained by one or both twins as a result of the failure to diagnose. The diagnosis must take place during the mother’s pregnancy to prevent the most serious injuries that may result from the condition. An obstetrician’s failure to perform the standard tests for TTTS may be held to constitute a breach of the obstetrician’s duty of care that is owed by the obstetrician to both twins as well as the mother.

Failure to Properly Treat TTTS

Once TTTS has been diagnosed, an obstetrician’s failure to properly treat the condition may also be found to constitute medical malpractice. Certain treatments, if employed on a timely basis, may reverse the condition and avoid injury altogether. A physician’s failure to employ such treatments, when the physician knew or reasonably should have known that their use was indicated, may lead to liability on the part of the physician as well as the physician’s employer for all injuries sustained as a result of a baby’s contraction of TTTS.

Contact Birth-Trauma Attorney Jeff Killino

If you suspect that medical malpractice may have contributed to your child’s TTTS injury, contact attorney Killino today at 877-875-2927 to discuss your legal options.