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7:42 am - Tuesday January 23, 2018

Condition of conjoined twins critical: AIIMS doc

Agencies, New Delhi

The condition of conjoined twins — Jaga and Kalia — from Odisha was today “critical” after a marathon surgery to separate them by a team of doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, a senior doctor at the hospital said.

The 28-month-old twins, who were joined from their heads, were successfully separated after an 18-hour-long surgery which started at 9:00 am yesterday and ended at 3:00 am today, he said. Both the children are now put on the ventilator inside the ICU and are coming out of anesthesia.

Sources said that next 15 to 18 days are ‘critical’ for the twin brothers for whom prayers are pouring in from across Odisha. A special team comprising of 20 surgeons including four Odia doctors and 10 anesthesiologists led by AK Mahapatra and other paramedical staff successfully conducted the separation surgery of the conjoined twins.

The AIIMS doctors’ team conceded that it is an extremely complex case and performing surgery was next to impossible as such condition is reported once in 2.5 million cases while the survival rate is also very minimal.

“We have done the surgery but it is still a long journey for the children. It is the rarest of surgeries and all of us in team are positive and with prayers of millions of people in Odisha and country, we hope it will be successful,” said Mahapatra. The condition of Kalia is much better than his brother Jaga, informed sources.

AIIMS officials revealed that such challenges in the separation were never seen before keeping in view the long duration of the surgery. Apart from 3.5 litres of blood, the doctors’ team had to meticulously plan each and every step right from the day of admission at AIIMS, New Delhi.

As the team had got ample time prior surgery, the blood bank at the hospital made necessary arrangements for the AB + blood which is a rare blood group. Due care was taken to ensure that anesthesia was administered to the twins simultaneously keeping in view the possibilities of excess blood loss, entry of air into their system and hyperthermia.

A senior doctor stated that right from day one, it was a challenging task for the team from doing MRI to administering anesthesia to the conjoined twins. “It was a challenging task as we had to first ascertain which part of the brain was commonly used by the children and whether there was a separate artery supply system or not,” said a doctor.

Though the major part of separation has been completed, post-operative management still remains a concern as there is no skin on the skull and there are possibilities of infection and other issues.

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