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  Conjoined Twins Delivered at Washington Hospital Center
May 10, 2006

Washington, DC –Washington, DC, May 10, 2006- Conjoined twin boys were born this morning at Washington Hospital Center.  The twins are joined at the back. The high-risk Caesarian section delivery went as planned and involved five medical teams from the Hospital Center and Children’s National Medical Center. Mom Angie Benzschawel is in good condition and twins Mateo and McHale are in critical but stable condition in Children’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“After months of waiting, it was a relief for us to finally meet the boys,” said father Ryan Shaw. “We appreciate the support of everyone involved. We hope everyone will respect our request for privacy as we focus on the care of our twins.”

David Downing, MD, associate chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington Hospital Center headed the maternal and fetal medicine team. Dr. Downing praised his team for bringing mom and the twins through the challenges of this pregnancy. “We provided high-risk monitoring of mom and the fetuses on a daily basis,” said Dr. Downing “Thanks to the wonderful collaboration with Children’s and support from multiple divisions, these babies got off to a good start.”

A total of 50 medical professionals from both the Hospital Center and Children’s were involved in this morning’s delivery. A maternal/fetal team experienced in high-risk deliveries performed the C-section. In an adjoining operating room, two identical teams - each with a pediatric surgeon, neurosurgeon, neonatologist, otolaryngologist, and neonatal nurse - were assigned to each twin following delivery to attend to their immediate medical needs.  An additional third team was on standby to support the other two under the supervision of Zacharia Cherian, chair, Neonatology, Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Cherian said teamwork between the Hospital Center and Children’s staff was outstanding.  “This was truly a team effort and testament to the medical excellence of both institutions.  We were well-planned and well-rehearsed to handle the complex medical care of these babies.”

As soon as the twins were stabilized, a fifth team - the Children’s Transport Team prepared the twins for the three-minute transport from the operating room to a waiting ambulance that whisked them to Children’s NICU. The twins will undergo a series of tests and assessments this week. Robert Keating, MD, chief, Neurosurgery, who is leading the medical care of the twins at Children’s, said, “Every member of the team continuously demonstrated poise and grace today, and no doubt made this transition nearly seamless. The delivery was one step in what will be a lengthy process. Children’s multidisciplinary team is now working to assess and monitor the most appropriate care plan for the boys.”
The twins’ family has set up a fund for the boys called the Mateo and McHale Shaw Fund, c/o Kohler Credit Union, 850 Woodlake Road, Kohler, WI, 53044. The family asks that all requests be directed to the above media contacts.