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Sextuplets Born in China; Two Die

December 28, 1998

BEIJING (AP) _ Four surviving infants from China’s first naturally conceived sextuplets were in stable condition today, after their two smallest siblings died of lung hemorrhages.

The four boys and two girls were born Wednesday to a 33-year-old woman in Shinnying, the capital of northeastern Liaising province. One boy and one girl died Saturday evening, said Sun Ay, a researcher at the No. 2 Hospital at China Medical University.

``Conditions of prematurely born babies change extremely rapidly. Though the rest of the babies have overcome respiratory difficulties, there could possibly be other problems,″ the state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Dr. Mao Jan of the hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Department as saying.

The babies that died were ``the lightest ones of the six,″ Mao said.

The mother, Yao Hong, hadn’t used fertility drugs, making her babies the first naturally conceived sextuplets in China.

The babies were delivered by Caesarian section when Yao, then 28 weeks pregnant, experienced delivery problems. The largest weighed 2 1/2 pounds, Sun said.

Sun said the hospital had been swamped with visitors and requests for media coverage since news of the birth was disclosed.

The Xinhua report cited experts saying the likelihood of a woman giving birth naturally to sextuplets was one in 400 billion.

Earlier this month in Houston, a woman gave birth to octuplets. On Sunday, the smallest of the babies, weighing just 10.3 ounces, died of heart and lung failure. Their mother, Nkem Chukwu, had used fertility drugs.

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