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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

'Very, very rare' conjoined twins delivered at Haryana hospital

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Sonepat, March 13, 2014
First Published: 23:39 IST(13/3/2014) | Last Updated: 17:20 IST(14/3/2014)

A pair of conjoined twins with two heads and sharing a single lower body was delivered at a private nursing home in Sonepat, Haryana, on Thursday.

Conjoined twins born in Sonepat. HT Photo

The twins, born to the 26-year-old wife of a labourer from Bihar, are in the intensive care unit, according to Dr Shikha Malik, a gynaecologist who described it as "a very, very rare" case of conjoined twins.

The medical term for this condition is thoracophagus, where two bodies are fused from the upper thorax to lower belly.

Conjoined twins born in Sonepat. HT Photo

Thoracopagus twins share a heart, which, depending on how closely they are joined, makes it nearly impossible to separate them and save both the lives.

Dr Malik said the conjoined twins were spotted on February 24, when the pregnant woman underwent her first ultrasound. She has delivered two normal babies earlier.

Birth of conjoined twins, whose skin and internal organs are fused together, is rare. Conjoined twins are born once every 200,000 live births, and their survival rate is between 5% and 25%.

For some reason, female siblings seem to have a better shot at survival than their male counterparts.

Although more male twins conjoin in the womb than female twins, females are three times as likely as males to be born alive. Approximately 70% of all conjoined twins are girls, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

There are nearly a dozen different types of conjoined twins.

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