The claims can be complex because of the inherent risks facing twins that can result in long-term complications irrespective of any issues relating to poor management of the pregnancy and delivery.
Such risks can include for example prematurity and intrauterine growth problems that can result in developmental delay, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. Examples of successful cases Jenny has handled include the failure to properly monitor twins during labour by ignoring the deteriorating CTG trace, and delaying their delivery; unfortunately, the second twin suffered a short but profound period of hypoxia leading to cerebral palsy.
In another case, during the course of providing antenatal care to a mother with twins, the hospital staff incorrectly dated the estimated date of delivery as being later than it actually should have been by a number of weeks. When the delivery of the twins was planned this resulted in them being born earlier than they would otherwise have been, one twin suffering the effects of prematurity that would otherwise have been avoided.
In one tragic claim, both twins were treated in SCBU following premature labour but through error were over ventilated resulting in hypocarbia. This is a condition where the babies' levels of carbon dioxide fall to a continuously low level due to large oxygen volumes and can cause decreased blood flow to the brain, leading to brain damage. Unfortunately, both twins had cerebral palsy as a consequence. Other cases have included the failure to monitor by CTG and deliver promptly or in one instance premature labour was not recognised resulting in a delay in providing hospital care.
Cooling of new-born babies who have suffered brain injury due to a shortage of oxygen at birth has been successful in reducing the risks of severe disability or cerebral palsy but there can still be lifelong complications and disabilities that result from these injuries. Compensation secured for these children provides for much needed care, therapies such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy, as well as equipment and adapted accommodation.
Sign up to our email digest