Conjoined twins die in hospital

The conjoined twins from the Eastern Cape who were admitted to Red Cross Children’s Hospital last week have died.

Mark van der Heever, spokesman for the hospital, said the two infants died on Sunday night as a result of a congenital heart condition that made their separation impossible.

The twins shared an umbilical cord and were joined at the chest and abdomen. Photo: Ian Landsberg. Credit: INLSA

Van der Heever said the twins had a rare form of congenital cardiac disease that is characterised by underdevelopment of the heart ventricles and valves.

“This condition is fatal even when seen on other non-conjoined twin babies,” he said.

The twin girls, born on Wednesday at the Dr Malizo Mpehle district hospital in Tsolo, near Mthatha, arrived in Cape Town on Thursday for a possible separation.

They were then transferred to Red Cross Children’s Hospital for further tests and to determine whether to operate or not.

The hospital, the only children's hospital in sub-Saharan Africa, has treated two sets of conjoined twins in the past three years.