Conjoined twins in India miraculously survived after being born with two heads, three arms, and two hearts.
In this article, you’ll read:
- A baby was born with two heads, three arms, and two hearts
- What is Dicephalic Parapagus?
A baby was born with two heads, three arms, and two hearts
The doctors were stunned to deliver conjoined twins with two heads, three arms, and two hearts. It happened on Monday, 28th of March 2022, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The twins’ parents are Shaheen Khan and Sohail. Initially, the couple was expecting two fully formed twins before their baby’s delivery. When the twins came out, the parents were shocked that their twins appeared with two heads in one body.
The Rare Birth of Conjoined Twins
The extraordinary conjoined twins have so far survived. They were admitted to a nearby hospital in the city of Indore. There, the hospital’s team of doctors may closely monitor the conjoined twins. Meanwhile, Shaheen Khan, the mum of miraculous twins, remained in the district hospital in Ratlam.
The conjoined twins’ condition is known as Deciphalic Parapagus. It is a case where two infants share one torso and often results in stillbirth. It is a highly unusual form of conjoined delivery, affecting only one in a million births.
“These kinds of cases are rare, and the condition of babies remains uncertain, especially in the initial days,” says Dr Lahoti, one of the conjoined twins’ doctors.
In this regard, the doctors are sharply monitoring the babies’ health. Additionally, they’re still figuring out the best ways to properly care for the twins.
“[As of the moment,] we have not planned for any surgery on the patient,” stated the twins’ doctor.
2019 Case of Conjoined Twins in India
In 2019, Babita Ahirwar was 21-years-old when she delivered a baby with two heads and three arms. The incident occurred in India, years before Shaheen Khan’s case.
Babita Ahirwar and her husband, Jaswant Singh Ahirwar, were surprised when the baby came out. No one expected that to happen as they are both expecting separate twins.
“We are shocked. It is unbelievable,” said Mr Ahirwar. “Everyone is shocked to see them. We cannot believe our child has two heads.”
The couple was initially devastated. During that time, they were married for 18 months and were eagerly waiting for their first child.
“It was a mixed feeling when the nurses handed over the baby to me,” said Mr Ahirwar.
“Initially, I thought it was a twin, but when the nurses removed the towel, I was shocked to see our firstborn with two heads and three hands.”
At first, the couple sadly considered their child as a “punishment.”
“All we wanted was a normal and healthy baby, but the almighty wanted to punish us this way. I don’t know why,” said Ahirwar.
After some time, the couple made the decision and resolved to do their best to raise the conjoined twins.
What is Dicephalic Parapagus?
A Deciphalic Parapagus case is rare because it only occurs in less than 0.5% of conjoined twin cases. As mentioned, a conjoined twins’ birth is a rare phenomenon, occurring 1 in 50,000 to 100,000 pregnancies.
‘Dicephalus’ is just one of the various subsets of Parapagus. In this case, the twins have two heads, sharing one body from the neck or upper chest downwards, with a pair of lower limbs and a single set of reproductive organs.
Two proposed theories can explain conjoined twinning
Fission theory postulates that incomplete fission may be seen in a single embryonic disc, 13 to 15 days after the fertilisation of the ovum.
Fusion theory postulates that two separate monovular embryonic discs could secondarily fuse leading to this developmental anomaly.
Parapagus twins are fused ventrolaterally and lie side by side. These twins are most frequently conjoined at the chest.
However, respiratory, gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts separate from the fused liver and diaphragm. Two spinal cords, two vertebral columns, two legs and a variable number of upper limbs are present.
Detection of Conjoined Twins in Pregnancies
A pregnancy of Conjoined twins can be detected as early as 12 weeks through ultrasonography.
Continuation of pregnancy is advised in cases where organ anomalies are not detected and if surgical separation of the twins is possible. However, Premature birth is common in conjoined twins, being stillborn in 40% of the cases. Meanwhile, death within the first 24 hours of life occurs in 35% of the cases.
Most specialists believe that conjoined twins should be separated because a large degree of shared organs prevents survival. However, if the surgery is not urgent, doctors recommend delaying it until late infancy to allow for a detailed preoperative assessment.
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