It is no surprise that multiple births are increasing. Ordinarily, the rate of “twinning” (having twins) is one out of every 80 pregnancies, and triplets is one out of every 7,000 pregnancies. With in-vitro fertilization and ovulation-enhancing drugs, the rate of multiple births can increase 5 to 40 percent, depending on the specific technique or drug used. These are considered high-risk pregnancies, so doctors must be prepared for known complications.
The Ohio birth injury attorneys at The Becker Law Firm represent clients whose families were harmed because of negligence in the management of a multiple pregnancy or birth.
Contact us online or call (440) 252-4399 to speak to one of our attorneys about your case today. We offer free, confidential case evaluations.
More Babies Means Greater Risk
A multiple pregnancy amplifies the risks involved in any pregnancy and birth. Our law firm can review your medical records and determine whether the harm you or your children suffered was due to negligence. If we determine an obstetrical caregiver acted improperly or failed to uphold standards of care, our birth injury lawyers in Ohio can pursue financial compensation on your child’s behalf.
Obstetricians, their staff, and nurses are responsible for all of their patients, including the mother and all unborn babies. Multiple pregnancies are more likely to involve the following complications, which the health care team must be prepared for:
- Preterm labor (on average, twins are delivered between 36 and 37 weeks and triplets are delivered between 33 and 34 weeks)
- Placenta previa
- Umbilical cord prolapse
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Cervical incompetence
- Gestational diabetes
- Congenital abnormalities
Other possible complications include twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in which twins that have separate amniotic sacs and a shared placenta experience blood movement from one twin to the other. Treatment may require repeated amniocentesis during pregnancy (reducing the amount of amniotic fluid to reduce preterm contractions) and possibly laser surgery to stop the flow of blood.
Cerebral palsy or developmental delays are other risks of multiple babies. Doctors must closely monitor the condition of all babies before delivery to ensure that they each have adequate oxygen. Failure to do so, or failure to order a timely cesarean section, can cause cerebral palsy or developmental delay injuries.
Method of Delivery
One of the most pressing issues with multiple births is the method of delivery. For twins, obstetricians must identify how each baby is presenting, whether vertex (head down) breech (butt down) or transverse (sideways). If all babies are vertex, they should undergo a trial of labor with cesarean reserved as necessary. When the first baby is breech and the second is vertex, a trial of labor is also appropriate. However, if the first baby is breech or both babies are breech, a cesarean section is usually necessary. Triplets are typically all delivered by cesarean section.
Common Errors in Multiple Pregnancy and Multiple Birth
Early screening and regular prenatal visits are crucial to monitoring the health of the babies. Negligence may involve simple failure to perform routine tests, such as frequent ultrasounds and fetal non-stress tests (NST). Other errors may include the failure to recognize fetal distress or ominous symptoms in the mother, inappropriate response to complications, and failure to plan for C-section when indicated.