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Separated Twins Open Their Eyes, Show No Brain Damage

September 18, 1987|United Press International

BALTIMORE — CAT scans on Siamese twins separated 11 days ago show no brain damage, and the 7-month-old boys opened their eyes at their mother's touch, a hospital official said Thursday.

Patrick and Benjamin Binder were born joined at the backs of their heads. They had separate brains but shared some skull bone and a major artery.

Diane Sapliway, a spokeswoman at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said Benjamin was returned to the operating room for 3 1/2 hours Wednesday for skin grafts and routine cleansing of his scalp wound as a precaution against infection.

She said the skin grafts are a common procedure. Patrick was scheduled to undergo a similar procedure Thursday, she said.

Doctors said the boys continue their slow recovery, being removed from barbiturates that have kept them in an artificial coma since the 22-hour operation by a team of 70 doctors, nurses and technicians.

Sapliway said the twins "are intermittently sedated for their comfort and pain control." They remain on respirators but are attempting to breathe on their own, she said.

Doctors initially said the twins had only a 50-50 chance of surviving, but in recent days they have expressed more optimism.

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