Potentially saving many tiny lives as it can chart growth of both twins in the womb
The world’s first scan using twin growth charts has taken place at St George’s – marking a monumental moment for multiple birth families across the country.
The charts mean twins can be accurately measured in the womb so health professionals can instantly recognise whether they are growing appropriately. It means hundreds of tiny lives could be saved when, previously, growth issues were misdiagnosed and inappropriately managed.
Previously, hospitals looking after women expecting twins plotted the growth measurements using singleton growth charts and clinicians had to use their judgement to decide how the babies were progressing.
Dr Asma Khalil, Consultant Obstetrician and Leading Multiple Births Expert at St George’s, explains, “The difficulty with this was identifying the difference between babies which were truly small because they were not developing properly versus twins who are normally small. This problem was amplified because the only data available to measure the babies was based on singleton pregnancies only.
“The launch of the twin growth charts is a significant landmark in medical history.”
The £25,000 research project to develop the growth charts was funded by twin parents across the country thanks to a massive fundraising appeal by multiple births charity Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba).
Dr Khalil demonstrated the effectiveness of the new growth charts at a special event last week. She scanned expectant mum-of-twins Mrs Mala Vast-Dhuri.
Mala said, “I find it reassuring that my twins are being measured during pregnancy against charts that have been specifically designed for twins. I’m also very excited to part of this world first.”
Keith Reed, Tamba CEO, gave special thanks to the hundreds of fundraisers who made the research possible, saying that each and every family who made a contribution can credit themselves with being part of a unique project.
He said, “It’s very likely that twins born in the future will be safer, receive superior care and will have a better start in life thanks to this incredible achievement.
“Everyone who gave money towards our fundraising appeal, which was aptly named Beanstalk, is part of an historic moment in the world of maternal fetal medicine – they should be proud their contributions have the potential to start saving lives.”
Mr Reed continued, “The fact Tamba and St George’s is part of a world first is extremely exciting for our supporters and expectant twin families.
“This an extremely important day in maternal fetal medicine and we’re excited to see many more thriving, happy, healthy twin babies in years to come.”
July 7, 2017