Twins Separated-- Transfusion Saves 1

by Gopher 14 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Gopher
    Gopher Surgeons Separate Conjoined Twins

    Tue Aug 6, 9:37 AM ET

    By ANDREW BRIDGES, AP Science Writer

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - In a risky procedure spanning about 20 hours, surgeons separated 1-year-old Guatemalan twins joined at the head, a doctor said Tuesday.

    AP Photo

    SlideshowSlideshow: Conjoined Twins

    Dr. Houman Hemmati, who assisted in the surgery, said the separation of twins Maria Teresa and Maria de Jesus Quiej-Alvarez appeared to be successful.

    "Everyone had goosebumps at the end of the procedure," Hemmati told NBC's "Today" show. "People were cheering, people were clapping, people were crying."

    "It was more than optimistic, it was overjoyed and we can't wait until we see these kids playing, laughing, crying like normal baby children," he said.

    Dan Page, a hospital spokesman, said the girls had been separated but had no details, saying doctors were still in surgery.

    Hemmati said one girl lost a lot of blood during the operation but was given transfusions and "everything looks great." "There was absolutely no major trouble that was unforeseen in this procedure," he said.

    The surgery began Monday afternoon, about six hours after the girls were wheeled into the operating room at Mattel Children's Hospital at the University of California at Los Angeles.

    The girls, born in rural Guatemala, were attached at the top of the skull and faced opposite directions. While the two shared bone and blood vessels, their brains were not meshed. Cases like theirs occur in fewer than one in 1 million live births.

    "Our goal is to get two twins walking out of here maybe not walking, but crawling," Dr. Henry Kawamoto Jr., a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at UCLA, said earlier.

    The riskiest part of the surgery was expected to be separating the veins that connect the girls' heads.

    Hemmati said doctors separated the skulls, then separated the individual blood vessels and decided which went to each child. Doctors then separated the brains and "at 1 a.m. (PDT) pushed the two babies apart and ... so far they are doing fine."

    Hemmati the mood was tense at the beginning of the operation, but doctors grew extremely optimistic.

    "No one was sure what we were going to find once we actually went in and opened up the brain," he told KABC-TV in Los Angeles. "Fortunately, everything was as we expected. The two brains weren't joining one another. In fact, they were separate, and made it a lot easier for us to actually separate the two twins."

    Physicians have performed cranial separations only five times in the past decade. Not all twins have survived.

    Healing the Children, a nonprofit group, arranged to bring the sisters from Guatemala to Los Angeles for the $1.5 million operation.

    The girls' parents, Wenceslao Quiej Lopez and Alba Leticia Alvarez, gave them kisses before the operation began, said UCLA spokeswoman Roxanne Moster.

    "The girls were smiling a lot and were very playful," she said.


    On the Net:

    Edited by - Gopher on 6 August 2002 12:38:50

  • YoursChelbie

    I'm so happy for the family. I think that whenever possible, especially in the case of children, any adverse side affects can be avoided if the blood donors are the parents or other realitives who are healthy and able to donate.

    Life is too precious! I would hate to think that a publishig company would have caused the death of these babies IF their parents were Dubs.

    That was truly a "Medical Miracle"

  • SixofNine

    They'll be out playing and butting heads like normal siblings in no time!

    All thanks to that beautiful life giving fluid from God, blood. Truly it is sacred, not just as a symbol of life, but also in a very literal sense. All humanity should hold it as sacred as the doctors and family of these two girls.

    Edited by - SixofNine on 6 August 2002 12:50:45

  • hawkaw

    Jehovah God does allow natural whole blood transfusions too!!!!


  • Matty

    Conjoined Twins should be given a judicial Committee at birth, because they share the same blood. The blood goes from one body to the other and so as it clearly violates Gods law. The babies are being disobedient and should be disciplined.

  • Gopher

    LOL Matty. Divine justice needs to be served. Let the babies explain why they shared blood.

    On a more serious note, here's an update on some complications with the 1 child:

    Twin's Surgery Longer Than Expected

    Tue Aug 6, 4:30 PM ET

    By ANDREW BRIDGES, AP Science Writer

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - One-year-old Guatemalan twins joined at the head were separated in a marathon operation that ended early Tuesday, but one sister was returned to surgery less than four hours later because of bleeding on the brain.

    AP Photo

    AP Photo
    SlideshowSlideshow: Conjoined Twins

    Separated Twin Back in Surgery
    (AP Video)

    Maria Teresa Quiej-Alvarez was wheeled back into the operating room at midmorning and remained there into the afternoon, longer than expected.

    The surgery-related hematoma, or bleeding on the brain, "was not necessarily an unexpected situation," said Dr. Michael Karpf, medical director at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center.

    Her sister, Maria de Jesus, remained in critical but stable condition.

    "This is very complicated surgery, and until we get past several days it will be life-threatening for both of them. We are minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-by-day. We just can't get ahead of ourselves," Karpf said.

    The girls' parents, Wenceslao Quiej Lopez and Alba Leticia Alvarez, kissed their girls before the risky separation surgery, which took 22 hours to complete. At least 50 people participated.

    The girls were born attached at the top of the skull and faced opposite directions. While the two shared bone and blood vessels, they had separate brains. Cases like theirs occur in fewer than one in 2.5 million live births.

    In the riskiest part of the surgery, doctors had to separate blood vessels the two girls shared and decide which belonged to each child. That was followed by plastic surgery to extend each girl's scalp to cover the area where they had been attached.

    "A big cheer went up in the operating room they were really excited when the separation happened," Karpf said.

    The two face still more operations to reconstruct their skulls.

    Healing the Children, a nonprofit group in Spokane, Wash., had arranged to bring the sisters from Guatemala for the $1.5 million operation. "The whole country has come together for these kids," said Naomi Bronstein, a volunteer with the organization.

    Surgeons around the world have performed cranial separations only five other times in the past decade, and not all twins have survived.


    On the Net:

    Edited by - Gopher on 6 August 2002 16:41:18

  • simplesally

    As a mother, this makes me cry! How happy I am for the parents and the girls.......they will now lead normal healthy lives (that is if they don't live in poverty in Guatemala).

    I went to the web site and saw the smiling face of one of the twins and its totally amazing to see that she was so full of life and joy, yet attached to her sister. I realize that they knew nothing different, that's the way they were born. But now to imagine those faces getting to run around and play hide and seek with each other, instead of lying down and looking at others with mirrors, this is such a joy...........

    and the parents can thank God for the versatility in blood, that it is a fluid that can be shared with little effect these days. Thank God we have learned how to screen it, how to donate and how to use it to save a life.....Blood represents life but it is not life. (if blood = life, then dead people possessing blood would be alive).

  • Crazy151drinker

    I just hope the other twin is ok. If she dies, the WT will no doubt use it as an example of how 'blood is bad', bastards.

  • SYN

    Just imagine, if they were Witness kids they'd be sitting in front of a Judicial Committee now!!!!


    On a lighter note, having been watching this story, I'm glad they made it. Holding thumbs for their survival.

    Now, let's go see what JWZone has to say about this clear violation of God's Law to save lives...HMMM, interesting, NO THREAD! Guess they don't want to admit that transfusions can actually save lives!

  • simplesally

    Seems like the girls are going to make it!

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