Twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a potentially deadly problem that can affect identical twins or other multiple pregnancies that involve the sharing of a monochorionic placenta by the multiple fetuses. TTTS may develop when the shared placenta contains abnormalities in the blood vessels that connect the umbilical cords and blood circulations of the fetuses and occurs when blood is transfused from one twin to the other.
In TTTS, though both twins share a common placenta, one twin may obtain less blood, and, therefore, too few nutrients, due to an inequality between the twins in the transfusion of blood. This inequality in blood and nutrients between one identical twin and the other (or among one or more of other multiple fetuses) can cause the shortchanged twin to experience slower growth and poorer urinary output than the other twin. The terms used to designate each twin in a TTTS situation are descriptive of the donation of precious nutrients from one twin to another: the twin who receives the most nutrients is known as the recipient twin, while the twin who receives the lesser amount of nutrients is known as the donor twin.
Twin to twin transfusion syndrome can occur at any time during the mother’s pregnancy, including the labor and delivery stages of the child’s birth. TTTS that occurs between the 12th and 26th weeks of gestation is known as Chronic TTTS and may result in serious injuries or death to the affected fetuses. TTTS that occurs during the labor and delivery stages of childbirth or that comes on suddenly during the last trimester of the mother’s pregnancy is known as Acute TTTS. Acute TTTS that occurs during the third trimester of the mother’s pregnancy may result when the twin that is receiving the lesser amount of nutrients (the donor twin) dies or becomes otherwise seriously affected by the inadequate receipt of nutrients.
Recipient twins, or the twins who receive the most blood and nutrients in a TTTS case, may also be adversely affected by TTTS. The recipient twin may be born with too great a blood volume, high blood pressure, and heart problems.
If you have given birth to identical twins with twin to twin syndrome and you suspect that one or both of your twins died or sustained injuries as a result of medical malpractice in the diagnosis or treatment of your twins’ TTTS, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you and your children have suffered as a result. Child injury and TTTS attorney Jeffrey Killino has extensive knowledge of and experience with TTTS cases and is dedicated to holding those responsible for children’s injuries or deaths due to medical malpractice accountable through legal action. Contact attorney Killino at 877-875-2927 for a cost-free evaluation of your TTTS case and more information about your legal options.
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 or the failure to timely diagnose TTTS.
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 deaths or injuries sustained by one or both twins as a result of the failure to diagnose. The failure to diagnose TTTS may occur during any stage of the mother’s pregnancy. A failure to diagnosis acute TTTS may also occur during the mother’s labor or delivery of her twins.
Negligence or malpractice can occur during the mother’s pregnancy due to an obstetrician or other treating physician’s failure to perform the standard tests for TTTS. Tests that should be performed include metabolic panels to assess electrolyte balance, blood clotting studies, chest X-rays, and complete blood counts.
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 causal of injury or death to one or both twins. Certain surgeries, for example, may be ordered to stop the unequal blood flow between twins with TTTS. The failure to order such surgeries or other treatments when indicated may result in liability, in a medical malpractice action, on the part of the negligent physician or other medical professional whose negligent failure to treat is determined to have been a cause of the injuries or death sustained by either or both twins. In some cases, the hospitals or clinics that employ such physicians may also be found liable for the injuries or deaths caused by the negligence of their employees. Employers, such as hospitals and clinics, may be held vicariously, or indirectly, liable for injuries or deaths caused by the negligence of their employees. The employers may also be found directly liable for injuries or deaths caused by the negligence of an employee if it is determined that the employer was negligent in screening, hiring, training, and/or retaining the employee.
If your twins or children from other multiple births have been diagnosed with TTTS and you suspect that medical malpractice may have contributed to your children’s TTTS injuries or death, child injury and TTTS attorney Jeffrey Killino will help you fight for the justice you and your family deserve. Contact attorney Killino at 877-875-2927 for experienced and expert assistance with your case.