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Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke provides lifesaving care for premature twins

Parents of twins born more than 12 weeks early are looking forward to having them home for Christmas after they received lifesaving care at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke.  

Twins Evie and Mason Young were born at 27 weeks at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital which is part of University Hospitals of North Midlands, weighing just 2lb 3oz and 2lb 7oz, on 8 September.

Samantha Young, from Longton, was told at 19 weeks she could deliver early at around 22 weeks but thanks to the antenatal care she received at the Maternity Centre progressed to 27 weeks giving her babies the best chance of survival.

The 34-year-old mother said: “We knew the twins would come early because my daughter was born at 26 weeks five years ago. When I saw Dr Peter Young at 19 weeks my cervix was fine but by 21 weeks my cervix has shortened by 20mm, which is when we were told the babies could come at any time.

“The hospital fitted a pessary band and I was given cyclogest which is a female hormone to maintain the pregnancy and I also put myself on bed rest.” 

At 25 weeks Samantha lost some of her waters and decided to go the Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) and underwent an internal scan which confirmed some of Evie’s water had gone and was then admitted to hospital for two weeks.

Over the next two weeks the twins started to make their way through the birth canal and at 27 weeks during an examination Samantha was told she needed to start pushing. Complications impacted the birth which meant the safest option was to deliver the twins by caesarean section.

Samantha said: “When I had the examination the midwife told me I was dilated by ten centimetres and I needed to start pushing but Evie was having some difficultly. I was given different medications to help but the option we went with was a c-section.”  

After the birth, Evie and Mason were initially ventilated, with Evie coming off the ventilator and feeding well within a week.  Mason was ventilated for longer and suffered phulmary hemmoridges, which causes bleeding into the lungs.  A heart scan showed that the bleeds were because he had Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), which is a persistent opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart.

Initially treated with medication Mason’s PDA was too big and required heart surgery. Experts from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit were put together and travelled with Mason to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he had heart surgery to close the duct.

Dr Lee Abbott, Clinical Lead, Neonatology at UHNM said: “Mason’s PDA was too big for medication to treat which is why surgery was the only option. Myself and senior staff nurse Jade went with Mason is a specially adapated ambulance which enabled us to get Mason to Birmingham safely. We stayed with him throughout the day to ensure he received the care he needed and he then returned to Royal Stoke.”

Within three days of the procedure being completed he was breathing on his own, taking bottles milk and is now doing well.

Samantha added: “The twins are now nearly 35 weeks and are doing amazing, putting on weight and feeding well. The care we have received throughout our journey has been fantastic, the team here have provided us with the best care and hopefully we will get them home in time for Christmas.”