Conjoined twins born in China

PHOTO: Conjoined twins born in China

A PAIR of conjoined twins who share a single body were born last Thursday at a Suining City Central Hospital in southwestern China, local media reported.

The sisters, weighing 4.05 kilograms at birth, were delivered in a hospital in Suining, Sichuan province and are now in critical condition due to to the proximity of their heads causing breathing difficulties.

A hospital staff said in an Associated Press report that the parents, who are farmers, initially did not want to keep the babies as they were afraid of not being able to foot the high medical bills.

Quoting a Huaxi Metropolis Daily story, the report said the babies have two spines, two esophaguses and share other organs. 

According to a report in the Daily Mail, this condition is known as dicephalic parapagus, in which only one body develops as the fertilised egg fails to fully divide.

40 per cent of conjoined twins are stillborn, while another 35 per cent die within the first 24 hours of life, according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre.

The parents were not aware of the abnormality until two days before the birth, reported online media. Two earlier ultrasound scans had failed to reveal that there were two heads attached to the body.

Doctors were quoted as saying that it would be almost impossible to separate the twins.

With additional reporting by AsiaOne