Healthy baby accidentally aborted by doctor after being mixed up with ill twin

·2-min read
Photo credit: Oscar Wong - Getty Images
Photo credit: Oscar Wong - Getty Images

It's been revealed that a healthy baby was accidentally aborted after a tragic mix-up with its ill twin.

The mum-to-be was admitted to Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust in 2019 because one of her twins was suffering from restricted growth. The condition raises the chances of stillbirth, and without a procedure to terminate the sick twin, both babies would be at risk.

Speaking about the procedure, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists told The Sun: "Selective fetal growth restriction is a condition that occurs in around 10 to 20 per cent of twin pregnancies when one of the babies does not receive enough nourishment through the placenta to grow at a normal rate."

They added, "In the most serious cases, selective termination can improve the survival chances of the normally-grown fetus at the expense of the severely growth-restricted twin."

But, during the operation, surgeons mistakenly aborted the healthy baby, causing both twins to die. The incident came to light after a Freedom of Information Act request, the Sunday Express reported.

Photo credit: NoSystem images - Getty Images
Photo credit: NoSystem images - Getty Images

Dr Fiona Reynolds, the chief medical officer at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Trust, said in a statement: "Sadly, during a highly specialised fetal procedure in 2019, that involved operating within the womb to separate and potentially save the life of a single twin that shared a placenta, a fatal error occurred."

She continued, "A full and comprehensive investigation was carried out swiftly after this tragic case and the findings were shared with the family, along with our sincere apologies and condolences. The outcome of that thorough review has led to a new protocol being developed to decrease the likelihood of such an incident happening again."

The Sunday Express' report revealed the baby's death was one of 700 deaths which had resulted from "basic errors."

These errors included "patients falling from trolleys, being discharged too soon or not receiving correct tests or medications."

In one incident at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, a patient passed away after their supplementary oxygen was mistakenly removed. Elsewhere at West Suffolk NHS Trust, a patient who had attended A&E was told they had the flu and sent home, but later died from sepsis. The report also revealed how a North Bristol NHS Trust patient died after the wrong section of their bowel was accidentally removed.

Just last year, the BBC reported that the NHS in England was forced to pay out £4.3billion to settle claims of clinical negligence.

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