Conjoined twins

This is a birth defect in which twins are attached together.

Body systems affected when a Conjoined twin

Nervous System- Nerves in your body that send messages to your brain.

  • The Spinal cord

  • The brain

  • The cerebellum

Respiratory System-set of organs that allows a person to breathe.

  • Lungs

  • Trachea

  • Nasal Cavity

Skeletal System- A system that protects the organs.

  • Skull

  • Ribs

  • Pelvis

How the body system works normally and how when the body system is affected

Nervous System working normally

  • Nerve sends messages immediately to brain

Nervous System working with a conjoined twin

  • Sending messages to both brains if conjoined at brain

Respiratory System working normally

  • Lungs able to breath

Respiratory System working with a conjoined twin

  • Making it hard to breath

  • Sharing a lung

Skeletal System System working normally

  • Ribs protecting one set of organs

Skeletal System working with a conjoined twin

  • Ribs may have to support two sets of organs

Target population. Who is affected.

  • Conjoined twins occur once every 200,000 live births

  • Approximately 40-60% of CT arrive stillborn

  • about 35% survive one day

  • overall survival rate of CT is somewhere between 5-25%

  • Approximately 70% of all CT are girls.

Famous people

  • Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst were born in Biddenden, County of Kent, England in the year 1100, and were joined at the hip.

  • Most famous conjoined male twins, Chang and Eng, born in Siam (Thailand) of Chinese parents in 1811.

How does this condition happen?

  • They develop from the same fertilized egg

  • not fully separate after fertilization.

  • CT develop from a single fertilized ovum that has divided imperfectly(not all the way).


  • CT are attached at the abdomen, chest, back, or top of the head,(most often at the chest, pelvis or buttocks.)

  • the division of the ovum has failed that’s how a twin is a CT

  • develop when an early embryo partially separates to form two individuals.

  • Most conjoined twins are stillborn or die shortly after birth.

Signs and Symptoms

  • There are not any specific signs that indicate a woman is carrying conjoined twins.

  • Conjoined twins may also share one or more internal organs.


  • Some surviving conjoined twins(CT)can be surgically separated.

  • Surgical separation of twins is a risky procedure

  • Twins joined at the tailbone have a 68% chance of successful separation

  • Conjoined twins at the heart = no survivors.

  • If conjoined at musculo fibrous tissue can be separated

  • Instances the CT share vital organs and separation may not be possible.


  • Most conjoined twins are stillborn or die shortly after birth

  • Still can live a full life.


  • Abby and Brittany Hensel

  • Chang and Eng Bunker

  • Krista and Tatiana Hogan

  • Daisy and Violet Hilton

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