One Of The Conjoined Twins Separated Through India’s ‘First’ Craniopagus Surgery Dies

The condition, which the twins suffered from, afflicted one in 30 lakh children, of which 50 percent die either at birth or within 24 hours,

The twins from Odisha with their parents. (File photo/ANI)

Kalia, one of the craniopagus twins who were separated in 2017 in one of the most complex medical procedures in India, passed away at a government hospital in Cuttack on Wednesday evening.

According to doctors, Kalia, undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital, was critical over the last week. He was critically ill with pneumonia and septicemia. He was attended by a team of pediatricians and anesthesiologists and put on ventilator support two days back.

“We are sorry that Kalia succumbed to pneumonia and septicemia at 9.10 pm. Despite our all-out efforts, Kalia passed away,” said Bhubananda Maharana, the emergency officer of the hospital.

The twins were admitted to the hospital in September last year after their discharge from AIIMS-New Delhi where they had undergone two major medical procedures for the separation of their heads.

“Deeply shocked to hear the untimely passing away of one of the conjoint twins ”Kaalia”, who were separated at AIIMS, New Delhi with full assistance from the state government as per the kind direction of our CM. I express my heartfelt condolence to the family and may his soul rest in peace,” Odisha’s health minister NK Das tweeted.

Maharana said that the health condition of Jaga, the other twin, is stable and he is doing well.

Born to Bhuyan Kandar and Puspanjali Kandar of Milipada in the Kandhamal district, the twins were suffering from a rare craniopagus disorder.

Jagga and Kalia were born with a fused brain and skull since birth in 2015, a condition known as craniopagus, to a tribal mother through a normal delivery in Kandhamal district of Odisha. They were admitted to AIIMS on July 14, 2017, and their heads were separated after a series of extensive surgical procedures.

The twins had undergone two marathon surgeries that year. The first phase of the surgery was performed on August 28 when the doctors created a venous bypass to separate the veins shared by the babies that return blood to the heart from the brain.

The final separation of the duo was performed by a team of around 30 specialists from the institute’s neurosurgery, neuro-anaesthesia, and plastic surgery departments on October 25.

This was claimed as India’s first successful separation of craniopagus twins.

Following the surgery, Jaga’s condition improved rapidly but Kalia was found to be suffering from certain deficiencies.

The condition, which the twins suffered from, afflicted one in 30 lakh children, of which 50 percent die either at birth or within 24 hours, doctors who treated them said.

The successful surgery that separated the heads of the conjoined twins was featured in the 2020 edition of the Limca Book of Records as the first such operation in the country.

Maharana said, ‘Jaga will continue to stay in the hospital’.

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