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Medical Verdicts


Fetal death follows twin-to-twin transfusion

November 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 11

<court>Fulton County (Ga) State Court</court>

A gravida—37 years old, expecting twins, and with a history of preterm labor—was admitted to a hospital at 31 weeks’ gestation. A biophysical profile showed a score of 8/8 for one twin and 6/8 for the other, with absent end-diastolic flow.

The doctor ordered a repeat biophysical study for the following day. Prior to the test, however, one fetus developed a terminal bradycardia. An emergency delivery was performed, but the neonate died as a result of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The other twin spent several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit and survived with no complications.

In suing, the mother alleged that the doctor should have repeated the biophysical test sooner or placed the twins on electronic fetal monitoring. She maintained that better monitoring would have alerted the doctor to the twin’s failing condition and prompted delivery in time to save him.

The doctor contended that proper care was administered.

  • The jury returned a defense verdict.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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