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Q: CONJOINED TWINS DEATH ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: yesmam-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 21 Dec 2003 12:48 PST
Expires: 20 Jan 2004 12:48 PST
Question ID: 289307
When one partner of conjoined twins die, does the other twin die or
does it depend on what part of the body that they are connected at?
Thanks in anticipation of your answer and Season's Greeting to all the
Great Googling Answer Team.

Request for Question Clarification by missy-ga on 21 Dec 2003 14:23 PST
Hi yesmam!

I started looking into this for you, then realized that my research
might have gone off in the wrong direction.

Are you referring to twins who are undergoing separation surgery, or
those who aren't separated at all?


Clarification of Question by yesmam-ga on 21 Dec 2003 14:36 PST
"Are you referring to twins who are undergoing separation surgery, or
those who aren't separated at all?"

Thanks Missy. I was thinking about the ones who lived out their natural lives.

Answered By: missy-ga on 21 Dec 2003 16:33 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello again,

I'm glad I asked for clarification, as my research had indeed gone in
the direction opposite of what you were looking for.

Sadly, the answer is that usually yes, when one conjoined twin dies,
the other follows shortly after:

"The tragedy for conjoined twins who spend their lives together is
that they inevitably die together too. When one twin dies, the heart
of the other twin keeps pumping until he or she is drained of blood."

Conjoined Twins

"All conjoined twins depend on each other for life. Their blood flows
between them as one system. When one twin dies, the other dies soon
after, unless separated."

Inquest Report

"Some operations to separate conjoined twins have proven successful.
Such surgery is very delicate since the twins share blood supply and

Case Studies of Conjoined Twins

Not all conjoined twins share circulatory systems:

"Conjoined twins may be attached only by a cord of tissue, or they may
be fused at some part of the body, such as the head, chest, or leg.
Sometimes they share one or more internal organs, such as the heart or
liver, or they may have a common circulatory system. Surgical
separation of conjoined twins has been successful, although if the
twins share important organs, surgery may be risky for one or both

Conjoined Twins

...but those who do not are typically separated.  It's more common for
conjoined twins to share a common circulatory system and heart (35% of
conjoined twins are thoracopagus - joined at the thorax.)

Conjoined Twins
Select Types of Conjoined Twins from the top bar, then Thoracopagus

For more information about conjoined twins:

Conjoined Twins at DMOZ

Conjoined Twins at Yahoo Directory

I hope this answers your question!  Happy Solstice!


Search terms:  [ "conjoined twins" ], [ "conjoined twins" survival ], 
[ "conjoined twins" one dies ]
yesmam-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Missy-What a heart and mind you have to attack this fringy one. Well,
what actually sparked my interest was an interview by Terry Gross on
"Fresh Air," of the Farely Brothers and their new movie. To some, the
Farely Brothers seem to be laughing at the strange and the disabled,
but underneath they have a very real affection and interest in people
on the fringe. The movie, which I forget the name right now about
conjoined twins sounds really good, if you're a "Something About Mary"
type, which I am.
I had this gruesome image of one twin dying and the other would just
have to drag around the corpse of their dead twin, but alas, both meet
their demise at the same time.
Thanks for your well researched and interesting response.


From: boquinha-ga on 21 Dec 2003 19:38 PST
Hi Yesmam!

I posted a comment on one of your earlier questions that I answered,
but just in case you didn't see it--Happy Holidays!

From: yesmam-ga on 22 Dec 2003 11:12 PST
I posted a comment on one of your earlier questions that I answered,
but just in case you didn't see it--Happy Holidays!

Hiya Boquinha-Haven't been reviewing old questions for a while because
of Internet SHOPPING these days.

Have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to your Great Googling
Answer and Response work for 2004.


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