Conjoined Twins From Northeast Ohio Die

BRISTOLVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Conjoined twin girls from northeast Ohio who could not be separated have died, a hospital official said Wednesday.

The girls, born Aug. 16 with a shared a heart and liver, died about 8 p.m. Tuesday at their Bristolville home, said DeAnn Marshall, a spokeswoman for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

After examining the girls' heart, doctors at the hospital determined the separation would be impossible. They were discharged to a hospice Aug. 24.

The girls were born at Pittsburgh's Magee-Women's Hospital to Misty and Keith Berry and were transferred to Children's Hospital the same day.

Conjoined twins occur when a fertilized egg that would have become identical twins fails to split completely apart. This occurs once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births. The twins are stillborn or die within 24 hours in three out of four cases.

Nearly three-quarters are joined at the chest, and about 70 percent are female.

Bristolville is about 40 miles east of Cleveland.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)