Conjoined twins are two babies who are born while physically connected to each other. Conjoined twins develop when an early embryo does not fully separate to form two individuals. Two fetuses will develop from this embryo and they will remain physically connected.
Most conjoined twins are usually connected at the chest, abdomen or pelvis. They could also share the entire body like the Hansel twins. So what would happen if one of the twin dies before the other.
Most conjoined twins share many tissues, vascular network, nervous system and even vital organs thus at times it’s hard to separate them at birth and they end up growing into adulthood while still connected to each other.
Conjoined twins with less connection to their sibling are often separated. Those with more shared functions are often kept together due to the risks.
If one twin does die then the outcome will depend on what tissues or organs the twins share. When death occurs the twins have to be separated as soon as possible otherwise the other twin will also die.
nce the dead twin’s heart stops, blood stops pumping, the vessels dilate and the dead twin begins to bleed into the dead twin’s body acutely. The dead body ultimately becomes a foreign body to the other twin and becomes a source of infection due to decomposition. This will make the other twin to become septic infected and he/she will eventually die too. Sepsis occurs in the shared blood supply and failure of the shared organs also occurs.
Throughout the years there have been several cases where one twin’s death led to the other. An example is the Bunker twins. The two were joined at the sternum. They married sisters and had 21 children.
Unfortunately one of the twin was an alcoholic, had a stroke and eventually died in his sleep. When the other twin realized that his brother was dead he went into panic and died while holding his dead brother close to him. He died before a doctor could come and separate them. However an autopsy later confirmed that they shared a liver and could never have been separated safely.