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Doctors: Egyptian Infant Improving

February 23, 2005

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ A 10-month-old girl was beginning to move her limbs with ease, steadily improving after an operation last week that removed a second head sharing a blood vessel with her own brain, one of her doctors said Wednesday.

Manar Maged was born March 30, 2004, with a rare birth defect, craniopagus parasiticus, that occurs when an embryo begins to split into identical twins but fails to complete the process, leaving an undeveloped conjoined twin in the womb. Manar also has a healthy twin sister, Noora.

``Manar Maged is in a stable condition _ no fever, no bleeding, no problems and no post-surgery complications,″ said Dr. Naseif Hefnawi, director of Benha Neonatal Hospital.

Hefnawi, a member of the team that operated Feb. 19 on Manar, said the ``girl’s brain is regaining its activity, her breathing is regulated and she moves her limbs easily and normally.″

Hopefully, he said, Manar can be removed from a ventilator and transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit in about a week.

Hefnawi said the girl’s liver, which had not functioned normally since the Feb. 19 surgery, would not be a big problem once medications were stopped. Another problem, related to her blood not coagulating properly, is not now a serious problem, he added.

During surgery, Manar bled extensively because of the major blood vessel that had to be severed and there were complications in the day after the surgery, including unstable blood pressure, hypothermia, poor liver function and the blood not coagulating.

Doctors have said the 12-hour surgery, carried out in the Nile Delta town of Benha, some 25 miles north of Cairo, was the first of its kind in the Middle East.

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