Conjoined twins, Mohammed and Gurfan, who were born in Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (Sion hospital) on July 27, died of cardio-respiratory failure on Tuesday evening. Doctors treating them said they were brought to the hospital on Monday with high fever. They were admitted in the paediatric surgery department after fever refused to subside.
“Initially, they were treated by the paediatric medicine department for fever. We admitted them on Tuesday morning. The blood investigation showed presence of infection in the body. We tied to resuscitate them but lost them at 4 pm,” said Dr Paras Kothari, head of the paediatric surgery department. Their body was sent for post-mortem. The cause of death given in the death certificate is ‘cardio-respiratory failure because of severe congenital anomaly.’
Three months ago, their parents, Shahin and Irshad, took the bold decision to raise the twins without separating via operation. The twins were a rare set of conjoined twins who shared a common heart, abdomen, stomach and pelvis. “They were joined sideways, with a fused thorax (the part of the body between the neck and abdomen).Their faces and vertebrae were separate, and between them, they have three hands and two legs,” said Kothari.
While the doctors did all possible tests and wanted to separate the babies, their parents didn’t give permission as it would have killed one of them. “Since they shared the heart, we told the parents, that saving one of them was the only possibility. For precaution, the hospital had sent an oxygen cylinder for emergency purpose. It is sad that we couldn’t save them,” said Kothari.
Conjoined twins is a rare sporadic event with prevalence of 1 in 2,00,000 to 5,00,000 live births. 60 percent of such twins dying shortly after birth.