Index.hu contacted several specialists in order to gain more information about the sad event that happened lately, when the conjoined twin babies were given premature birth by caesarean section and died only two hours after that.
Carrying conjoined babies has become rather rare in the previous years in Hungary, even though between the period of 1970 and 2001, 47 conjoined twins were given birth to and only a few of them stayed alive and survived the separation surgery. However, giving premature birth to conjoined twins is regarded unprecedented.
The site states, though not according to official and confirmed sources, that the babies were conjoined at their chests and had only one heart beating in one pericardium. The Semmelweis University, respecting the rights of the mother, could only confirm that the babies were born prematurely with malformations disabling life.
The mother was transported to the hospital in Budapest, with the highest care possible, from Győr, when she was pregnant for 28 weeks. Following the necessary examinations, the babies were given birth by caesarean section in the 29th week, but could only live for two hours.
According to Zoltán Papp, professor and obstetrician-gynaecologist doctor at Semmelweis, realizing the development of the conjoined twins in the womb on time depends on several factors, but, if the mothers attend caring and examining sessions regularly, such problems should be found out within weeks 12-18.
In Hungary, then, the parents and the doctors usually decide to cease the pregnancy, which is why conjoined babies were not born lately. In some western countries though, when the situation is not so bad, the conjoined twins are allowed to be born, and later go under a surgery to separate them, which, unfortunately, is rarely successful.
Zsolt Prodán, chief medical at the Gottsegen György Hungarian Institute of Cardiology, told Index that, in most of the cases, conjoined babies are not viable, though, it depends on the degree of conjoining: the more organs are shared with shared circulation the more difficult technical, ethical and juristic questions are raised, including whether or not the babies shall be registered as one or two person/s.
Also, ceasing pregnancy is strictly regulated by law, but even when the conjoined babies are given birth to, and the separating surgery is an option, it requires serious team work and preparations. Besides, the doctors are not allowed to save one of the babies to the expense of the other.
It is unknowkn why the caesarean section was decided to be carried out in week 29. There might have been failures in the heart signals due to the shared pericardium, or the mother’s health could have gone bad. But even if things went well, doing a double open heart surgery could not have been possible, additional reading.