Medical negligence issues involving twins
The average full term single pregnancy lasts 40 weeks with preterm delivery being classed as anything before 37 weeks. With twins however, the average pregnancy lasts just 36 weeks. This means that almost all twin pregnancies will be delivered preterm.
Due to this, twins are more likely to need neonatal intensive care after birth. In fact one out of four twin babies are admitted to NICU in the UK, which is over five times the rate of single babies. But what are the reasons for twins needing to go into the NICU?
Health issues are likely to arise in babies that are born prematurely, which is usually a result of them not having fully developed in the womb before birth. Some of the most common health issues babies have that cause them to need a NICU stay are:
- Difficulty regulating their temperature — due to a lack of body fat;
- Jaundice — a condition caused due to the baby’s liver not being mature enough to remove bilirubin from the bloodstream;
- Difficulty Feeding — this is usually due to an underdeveloped digestive system; and
- Hypoglycaemia — When the babies’ bodies have low blood sugar or glucose, which is their primary energy source.
As all these health issues are caused by preterm labour, it is clear to see why twins, who are almost always born preterm, are more likely to need a NICU stay.
Because of the increased likelihood for twins to stay in NICU, it follows that twins are more likely to suffer medical negligence whilst there.
Medical negligence claims relating to NICU care include the following:
- Resuscitation errors;
- Breathing assistance errors;
- Mismanagement of brain bleeds;
- Undiagnosed conditions; and
- Undiagnosed and untreated infections.
While steps are being taken within the NHS to address the problems associated with multiple pregnancies (which you can read about here), families are likely to face heightened risks for the foreseeable future.
For legal guidance on medical negligence issues involving twins, contact our expert team on free helpline on 0333 888 0404 or alternatively please get in touch with us by email at [email protected]