A woman in India who was too poor to afford an ultrasound has given birth to what initially appeared to be a baby with two heads.
The infant is in fact conjoined twins, who have separate spinal cords, necks and heads, but share limbs and vital organs.
Doctors in the northern region of Rajasthan are fearful the twins, who were born via caesarean section, have little chance of survival.
They say the 28-year-old mother could not afford to pay for ultrasound scans, meaning their condition, dicephalic parapagus, was only picked up two weeks before the birth.
Dicephalic parapagus twins usually cannot be separated and sharing one body places huge strain on vital organs.
“The parents are very distressed and we are helping the family the best we can,” explained Doctor Shikha Malik, who delivered the babies.
“We only came to know she was carrying conjoined twins after an ultrasound two weeks ago but it was too late to do anything by then,” he told The Daily Mail.
The twins are currently being cared for in the intensive care unit of the Cygnus J.K. Hindu Hospital in Sonipat, Haryana