(photo credit: REUTERS)
In the third case in the Gaza Strip in the last seven years, conjoined twins were born in Shifa Hospital on Tuesday. Connected by the pelvis and abdomen, the twins share a leg.
Dr. Alam Abu Khamda stated, “because the twins were identified as conjoined in a prenatal checkup, the medical team was prepared to deliver the babies in surgery.”
Shifa Hospital staff appealed to anyone who could help conduct a separation surgery for the twins. Dr. Abu Khamda said that the twins will need to be transferred to another country, possibly Saudi Arabia or the United States, for the life-saving surgery.
In November 2016, conjoined twins were born in Gaza but only survived six days. The twins, who were connected by most of their bodies, were delivered in the Children’s Department of Shifa Hospital. Dr. Ayman Shabkhani, department chair of the Labor and Delivery Unit, said, “The babies were born attached at the chest and abdomen, sharing only two lungs between them.” This was not the first instance of conjoined twins in Gaza; in 2010, conjoined twins connected by the abdomen were born in Khan Yunis’s Nasser Hospital. The fate of the twins is unknown.
The first reported case of conjoined twins in Israel was in 1995. The twins were successfully separated after birth at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikvah.
In September 2005, two conjoined twins connected by the chest and sharing a heart were born in Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer. The mother of the twins was shocked after the delivery, as she had no idea she was carrying conjoined twins and had not gone to any prenatal screenings.
In 2013, a set of conjoined twins was born in Rambam Hopsital in Haifa. One of them was born healthy; the other was stillborn, had stopped developing in utero and partially merged into the body of his living brother. After a four hour operation, doctors successfully separated the twins. The only shared organ between the two was the liver, which was left intact in the living twin.