Could Your Identical Twins’ Birth Injuries or Deaths Have Been Caused by Untimely Diagnosed or Inadequately Treated TTTS?

TTTS, or twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, is a pregnancy complication that can only occur when a woman is carrying identical twins or other identical multiple fetuses and when more than one identical fetus share a placenta. Though these conditions do not always give rise to TTTS, TTTS may develop when abnormalities in blood circulation between fetuses that share a placenta cause an unequal distribution of blood between or among the fetuses. One fetus, called the donor fetus, receives too little blood and, thus, too few nutrients. The other fetus, called the recipient fetus, receives too much blood.

ttts syndrome twinsEach fetus in this situation can develop serious injuries or die. The donor fetus, which receives too few nutrients, can grow more slowly and produce less urine than the other twin or die from insufficient blood supply. The recipient fetus, on the other hand, may be born with an excessive volume of blood and develop high blood pressure and/or heart problems.

The severity of injury caused by TTTS may be affected by the timing of its occurrence. Chronic TTTS, which occurs between the 12th and 26th weeks of gestation, may lead to serious fetal injury or death. Acute TTTS, which can occur during the last trimester of pregnancy, can result from the death or serious injury of a donor fetus during that period. Acute TTTS may also occur during labor and delivery.

In many cases, however, the timely diagnosis and treatment of TTTS can lessen the chances of or prevent fetal injury or death. If you were pregnant with multiple identical fetuses and suspect that the injury or death of one or more fetuses may have been caused by negligently diagnosed or treated TTTS, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the responsible parties. Birth-injury lawyer Jeff Killino has extensive experience with birth-injury cases, including those arising out of birth injuries and deaths caused by negligently diagnosed or treated TTTS. Contact attorney Killino and his highly respected team of birth-injury lawyers and paralegals for more information about your legal options.

Who Can Be Held Legally Responsible for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Injuries or Deaths?

A physician’s negligent failure to timely diagnose TTTS or negligent treatment of TTTS may cause the serious injury or death of one or more multiple fetuses. In these cases, the negligent physician as well as the entity or entities that employ the physician may be held legally responsible in a medical malpractice action for the resulting injuries or deaths.

Failure to Timely Diagnose TTTS

An OB/GYN or other physician who engages in the care of a pregnant woman is held to a duty of care for the safety and health of both the expectant mother and fetus. When a woman is carrying more than one identical fetus, as in an identical twin or other identical multiple-fetus pregnancy, the woman’s treating physician needs to perform certain tests to determine if the pregnancy may be complicated by TTTS.

Standard tests utilized to determine the existence of TTTS include complete blood counts (CBCs), chest X-rays, ultrasounds, blood clotting studies such as prothrombin time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT), and metabolic panels to assess electrolyte balances. Certain conditions identified through these tests may indicate TTTS, including inequality in umbilical cord size, inequality in amniotic sac size, inequality in amniotic fluid levels, and substantial inequality in fetal size. As certain procedures can be used to treat TTTS when it is timely diagnosed, the failure of an OB/GYN or other physician involved in the care of a woman pregnant with multiple identical fetuses may result in the physician’s liability for TTTS-related injuries and/or deaths found to have been caused by the negligent failure to timely diagnose the condition.

Negligent Treatment of TTTS

As stated above, certain procedures can be instituted to treat TTTS that has been timely diagnosed. Laser surgery may be performed in utero on fetuses diagnosed with TTTS, for example, to equalize the blood flow between the fetuses. Amniocentesis may also be used to correct the uneven blood flow. In some cases, labor may be induced before an expectant mother’s due date to lessen the chances of additional TTTS complications. Thus, a physician’s failure to order such procedures when indicated may be found to have been a cause of the injury or death of one or more fetuses and result in the physician’s liability for damages suffered as a result. In addition, the negligent performance of an indicated and ordered procedure may result in the physician’s liability for fetus’s resulting injuries or deaths.

In any of the above-referenced circumstances of physician negligence, a hospital or other entity (such as a clinic or other healthcare organization) that employs the physician may be found indirectly liable, as the physician’s employer, for the TTTS injuries or deaths caused by the physician’s direct negligence. A hospital or other employer may also be held directly liable for such injuries and deaths if found to have been negligent in adopting procedures for the care and treatment of TTTS patients or in the screening, hiring, training, monitoring, and retaining of a negligent employee.

Obtain Expert Assistance from Birth Injury Attorney Jeff Killino

Birth-injury attorney Jeff Killino and his team of birth-injury lawyers and paralegals are recognized throughout the country for their expertise with birth-injury cases as well as their dedication to holding all those responsible for children’s birth injuries and deaths accountable through legal action. If your child has sustained a birth injury of any kind and you suspect that the injury was caused by medical malpractice during your pregnancy or the delivery of your child, attorney Killino can help you fight for the justice you and your family deserve.