An infant with the rare "mermaid syndrome," a defect in which
the legs are born fused together, recieves treatment in the intensive care
department of the Hunan Provincial Children's Hospital of Hunan Province
in the capital city of Changsha Wednesday, November 22, 2006. [Sanxiang
CHANGSHA-- The condition of China's first "mermaid syndrome" baby is
deteriorating, with doctors saying it is almost impossible to separate the
baby's legs surgically.
Doctors at Hunan
Provincial Children's Hospital are keeping the baby alive via hematodialysis
instead of through peritoneal dialysis after he developed a peritoneal
"It is already a miracle that the boy is still alive," said Li Bixiang, a
doctor at the hospital. "The priority now is to keep the boy alive, not separate
The doctor said the health condition of the boy was "very bad".
Some media previously reported that the baby would survive if he had a kidney
transplant, but Li said the situation was not that optimistic.
The baby, 21 centimeters long and weighing 2.45 kg, was found in front of the
hospital gate, apparently abandoned by its parents, and admitted to the hospital
on November 12. A note found inside the baby's clothes said only that the baby
was born on November 9.
The baby's legs are joined together from thigh to heel. He is also suffering
from severe internal defects - he has no kidney or urinary tract, his heart does
not function properly, his anus and genitals are underdeveloped, his alimentary
tract is deformed and his intestines are obstructed.