A set of conjoined twin girls delivered by medical experts at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital have died.
This was revealed by the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Professor Adetokunbo Fabamwo, in an interview with NAN on Monday in Lagos.
The hospital’s management had announced that the twins were delivered on October 5 at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at an estimated gestational age of 33 weeks and six days.
According to Fabamwo, although the set of twins died, their mother is doing well.
He said, “The nature of their joining was so complex. They are joined from up to down, which is so complex. Moreover, they must have reached a certain age before they are separated.
“The first twins had congenital heart issues that weren’t compatible with life. When you have abnormalities like that, there are usually other abnormalities in the body.
“She was the first that died on October 15. When it happened, we quickly moved to separate them by assembling a team of multispecialty experts from LASUTH and other hospitals.
“However, before we could intervene, the second twins died today (Oct. 16),”
Fabamwo noted that the successful delivery of the twins was celebrated by the hospital being the first of such at the facility.
LASUTH had on October 5, announced the successful delivery of the conjoined twins, fused at the lower chest and abdomen (thoraco omphalopagus).
The hospital said that they were delivered by a multidisciplinary team.
LAUTH revealed that the conjoined female babies were delivered at 8:26 a.m. with good APGAR scores and a combined birth weight of 3.8kg.
Conjoined twins, popularly referred to as Siamese Twins, are two babies who are born physically connected to each other.
They develop when an early embryo only partially separates to form two individuals.
Although two babies develop from this embryo remain physically connected; they are most often joined at the chest, abdomen, or pelvis.
Conjoined twins may also share one or more internal body organs.
According to the Mayo Clinic, an online health portal, though many conjoined twins are not alive when born (stillborn) or die shortly after birth, advances in surgery and technology have improved survival rates.
It, however, noted that some surviving conjoined twins can be surgically separated, while the success of surgery depends on where the twins are joined and how many and which organs are shared, as well as on the experience and skill of the surgical team.
According to a 2017 report in the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, conjoined twins are extremely rare, with an incidence of 1 in 50,000 births, and about 70 per cent of them are female.
However, because around 60 per cent of those cases are stillborn, the actual incidence rate is closer to one in 200,000 births, according to the study.
In Nigeria, there have been stories of conjoined twins who survived and were successfully separated.
Among them are Goodness and Mercy Martins, born on Aug. 13, 2018, at the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nassarawa State, and separated at the hospital on Nov. 14, 2019.
Hassanah and Hasina, another set of conjoined twins born on January 12, 2022, at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, were successfully separated on May 19, 2023, in Saudi Arabia.