Multiple Births

Identical Triplets Birth Complicated By Rare Syndrome

brodin(top),+Gavin(middle)+and+Trevin(bottom)It seems that the occurrence of identical triplets has been less rare lately, but this set’s birth and survival was even more unusual because of a rare syndrome in the womb.

Brodin, Gavin and Trevin Kuhl’s arrival was complicated by twin-to-twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, caused by sharing the same placenta and some of the same blood vessels.

The condition is dangerous because it can cause one fetus to be overloaded with blood and amniotic fluid to the point of heart failure, while others become wasted and anemic with too little.

“Although two of the triplets are most affected, the third is affected to a smaller degree,” Mike Wiltse, hospital marketing and public relations specialist, said today.

On Feb. 22, the babies had a risky surgical procedure while inutero called endoscopic laser treatment to interrupt the blood flow between them. It was performed at Wheaton Fransciscan Healthcare in Milwaukee by Dr. Julian DeLia, an obstetrician/gynecologist who specializes in the procedure, said Rockford perinatologist, Dr. Paula Melone, who referred the Kuhls to DeLia.

“But on the fourth day (after the surgery) we did an ultrasound and saw we still had three heartbeats. And the fluid rates (for the overloaded fetus) had gone down.

“This is the first time I know of that we’ve been able to do this procedure where all the triplets survived,” said Melone, who had cared for Kalie Kuhl since the triplets’ condition was diagnosed in late January.

On Tuesday the babies arrived via Caesarean section at 32 weeks gestation. On arrival, Trevin, who came out first, weighed in at 2 pounds, 14 ounces. Gavin came out second at 3 pounds, 15 ounces and Brodin weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces.

Trevin and Brodin already are breathing on their own. Gavin still is on a ventilator.

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Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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