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Mirror syndrome is a rare but critical condition

A prior blog (“Hydrops fetalis could put an unborn child at risk,” Aug. 26, 2020) discussed the risks that hydrops fetalis poses to an unborn child. While that condition is serious enough, it could lead to an even more dangerous condition called “mirror syndrome,” also known as triple edema or Ballantyne Syndrome. It occurs when a pregnant woman suffers from preeclampsia and the fetus suffers from an abnormal amount of excess fluid.

Pregnant women here in Oregon should watch for the following symptoms of this condition:

  • Excessive and significant weight gain that happens in a short amount of time
  • Excessive and significant swelling
  • High blood pressure
  • Protein in the urine

No one really knows what causes mirror syndrome other than that it can start with fetal hydrops. Complications such as an infection, metabolic disorders, heart problems and other conditions can lead to fetal hydrops, which can lead to mirror syndrome. For this reason, it is vital that an obstetrician has a full medical history and properly monitors mother and baby.

A woman’s doctor should also take her concerns seriously when she exhibits the symptoms above. No one test will lead to a diagnosis. However, the above symptoms, a diagnosis of preeclampsia and the discovery of excessive fluid in the fetus should provide the information needed to properly identify the condition. Treatments vary widely depending on the circumstances, including delivery of the baby as soon as possible.

When an Oregon doctor fails to provide a woman experiencing mirror syndrome with the proper standard of care, it can have dangerous health consequences. A pregnant woman and/or her baby who suffer harm at the hands of a medical professional may have legal options. It would be prudent to discuss the matter with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to gain an understanding of her rights and legal options.