TAPS diagnosis is done one of 2 ways – before, or after birth. At the moment, a lot of cases are diagnosed after birth, because MCA Dopplers are still not mandatory, and a lot of professionals refuse to do them yet. The evidence is there that they save lives, we have treatment protocols, and yet we’re still fighting to have them as part of our routine care. Frustrating, right?
You’ve seen that we post a lot about the importance of MCA Dopplers. In fact, we’re kind of obsessive, a little annoying, and sometimes downright blunt when it comes to them.
Multiple pregnancies are difficult. The standard risks of prematurity, low birth weights, growth restriction, cerebral palsy, extended neonatal intensive care time, and even neonatal death can be devastating, to begin with. When you factor in the complications with monochorionic twins with TTTS, TAPS, and SIUGR - extra screening, complicated diagnosis, uncertain outcomes, and the possibility of laser surgery - it's no wonder that mothers of multiples reported a 43% higher chance of moderate to severe depressive symptoms.
From monochorionic diagnosis through delivery, this type of twin pregnancy is filled with acknowledged, well-documented risks. The shared placenta alone is enough to classify the pregnancy as high-risk, and the list of possible complications that accompany the shared placenta only increase this risk.
We've come a long way in one year, from a group of just 5 people wanting to tell everyone about TAPS, to a group of almost 200 people, including not only patients but doctors, researchers, family members, nurses, and care providers.
Change begins with breaking down the divide between doctors and patients and having open, honest communication. Patients need to feel confident they are getting the right answers, the most up to date treatment, with all available treatment options presented to them. Doctors need to be honest with their patients and are obligated to keep up to date.