NEWS

Joined twins born in Greece

Twin girls joined at the forehead were born in a Thessaloniki hospital on June 12, doctors said on Saturday after a local newspaper broke the story. The news came at a time when the public has been made sensitive to the plight of conjoined twins following last week’s fatal effort to separate 29-year-old Ladan and Laleh Bijani of Iran. This is believed to be the first Greek case of twins joined at the head. The parents, who like the children have not been named, were aware about half-way through the pregnancy that the two were joined but decided not to terminate it. The twins were born by Caesarian section. Doctors said they were doing well and their brains were separate. Thessaloniki newspaper Angelioforos, which first published the story, said the twins were born weighing 4,300 grams and now weighed 5,500 grams. The paper quoted doctors saying the two were joined close to the optic nerve and this could be affected if they were not separated. «The brains of the two children are completely separate and most probably there aren’t any problems with blood vessels,» Dr A. Andreou, head of the Ippocrateio’s neonatal clinic, where the children were born, told state NET television yesterday. «It is worth carrying out a neurosurgical separation of the brains.» Doctors are in touch with foreign colleagues. «We believe the children should be moved as soon as possible to a clinic overseas which has years of experience with these cases,» Iokem Sigalas, chief director of the Ippocrateio hospital told Reuters. «It would then be up to the parents to decide if an operation to separate the twins would be possible and should be carried out.» He said future information on the case would only involve statements on the twins’ health.