Doctors begin easing twins out of coma

Oct. 15, 2003 at 3:07 PM

DALLAS, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Doctors have begun to decrease the barbiturates that have kept 2-year-old Egyptian twin boys in a coma since their separation last weekend.

Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim remain in critical but stable condition at Children's Medical Center Dallas three days after the 34 hours of surgery. The boys were born joined at the crowns of their heads in a remote village 500 miles south of Cairo.

Dr. James Thomas, chief of critical care, said it may take several hours to a couple of days for the two boys to awake from the coma as the medications wear off. The drug-induced coma was initiated to prevent brain swelling.

"All in all, medical team members are delighted with the boys' progress to date, but all of us involved in their care remain vigilant for possible complications," Thomas said.

Ahmed and Mohamed are scheduled to return to the operating room Wednesday to have their endotracheal tubes changed. The routine procedure will help in the process of slowly easing them off their mechanical ventilators in the next few days.

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