A conjoined pair of twins in Mexico with two separate heads but sharing the same body has died before any treatment could be conducted on them.
On Jan. 6, a short video of the crying baby boys was posted by their relatives on YouTube but the local news website LaredNoticias.com reported on Monday, Jan. 9, that the twins had already passed away.
Doctors said that they were actually looking at a "plan going forward" for the boys before they died.
Mexico's Institute of Social Security confirmed the children's death but did not release further details. Jesus Urrutia, the director of the clinic, said that the clinic refuses to divulge more information in a bid to protect the privacy of the family. Nonetheless, he said that the twins' mother is in good health condition.
One Body, Separate Brains And Heads
The children who were born in the city of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico share one body and are believed to share all of their major internal organs. Each of the boys, however, had their own heads and brain.
In the video shared on YouTube, the twins were shown with tubes leading to their noses. One of the twins was crying while the other was visibly upset. Prior to their death, the twins were reportedly in stable condition as reported by the Mexican news station Canal Cuarenta Cuatro.
Survival Rate Of Conjoined Twins
Conjoined twins are rare, happening only once in every 200,000 births. Survival is tough from the time they are born. Between 40 and 60 percent of conjoined twins are stillborn and only 35 percent manage to survive for only one day. The overall survival rate of these twins is between 5 and 25 percent.
There are also instances when only one of the conjoined twins survive. In 2015, one of the two conjoined twin girls borne by a Minnesotan woman via cesarean section did not make it because the child has a non-functional heart.
How Conjoined Twins Develop
Conjoined twins develop when a woman produces a single egg that did not fully separate after fertilization. The developing embryo begins to split into identical twins during the first few weeks after conception but the separation is not fully completed. The partially separated egg then develops into a conjoined fetus.
Separating Conjoined Twins
With advancements in the field of medicine, parents of conjoined twins now have the option of getting their children separated albeit the procedure continues to involve potentially fatal risks. In October last year, a pair of 13-month-old craniopagus twins, twins who are conjoined at the head, were successfully separated at a New York children's hospital.
Separating conjoined twins can give them better chances at living normal lives but some parents opt to leave their conjoined twins joined together, sometimes for fear of the deadly consequences of failed operations.
Among these were the parents of the famed twins Brit and Abby Hensel. Just like the two conjoined twins in Mexico, the girls, who were born in 1990 share the same body but have separate heads. The girls learned to drive, swim and run together.