Pepper was excited to learn she was carrying twins. She planned to name them Roxy and Royce. Then she learned her babies were inside the same bag of waters and that both umbilical cords were attached to the same placenta. This rare situation put Peppers’ twins at risk for their cords to become twisted and entangled. Her doctor, aware of the problem, told Pepper she would be seen twice a week. She failed to mention that twice a week is standard for all twin pregnancies. She failed to tell Pepper that with only twice weekly monitoring, there is a high possibility that one or both twin may die on one of the 5 days a week when they were not monitored. She also failed to tell her numerous studies have demonstrated a 100% success rate with twins like hers, when there was Daily Monitoring.
Trusting her doctor, Pepper faithfully kept her appointments. At 32 weeks, when the babies were checked on a Friday, all was fine. But, tragedy struck before the next visit on the following Tuesday. Roxy was now dead and Royce was severely brain damaged. Predictably, the cords had gotten entangled and both babies were strangled.
Dissatisfied with her doctor’s explanations, Pepper went to a lawyer. He said, “no case.” Lacking medical training, he did not understand what went wrong.
Fortunately, Pepper came to us. We understood the medicine. When we examined the records, we quickly saw that standard twice a week monitoring wasn’t enough in this rare, more risky situation. Checking only twice a week left too much time between visits for the babies to be harmed. These twins needed to be checked daily.
Why wasn’t Pepper seen daily? Why wasn’t Pepper told about published studies showing how daily monitoring saves 100% of these babies? Was it inexperience, indifference or some other reason? No matter the answer, a lawsuit will never bring back Roxy, nor make Royce normal. At a trial before a Judge, we proved their case and the judge awarded $3 million. We can only hope this result will make a difference in how twins like Pepper’s will be treated in the future.