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Egypt 'two-head' baby dies a year after operation

Written by: Staff
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CAIRO, Mar 26 (Reuters) An Egyptian girl who had an operation more than a year ago to remove the head of her underdeveloped twin has died following an infection in her brain, her doctor today said.

Egyptian doctors operated on Manar Maged in February 2005, when she was 10 months old, to remove the second head which was capable of smiling and blinking but not independent life.

''She was admitted to hospital in a very bad way ... She died at 0630 hrs yesterday,'' said Abla el-Alfy, a consultant in paediatric intensive care.

''She had a very severe infection in the brain and she wasn't able to fight it,'' added Alfy, who was part of the team that operated on Manar last year in a hospital north of Cairo.

Manar's condition, known as craniopagus parasiticus, is one of the rarest forms of birth defects and occurs when an embryo begins to split into twins but does not complete the process.

One of the conjoined twins then fails to fully develop.

Doctors had said surviving the complicated 13-hour operation was a big achievement.

Manar's condition improved in the months after the operation to remove her underdeveloped twin but Alfy said she had suffered from repeated infections since then.

REUTERS DKS BST1807

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