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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Canadian has rare identical quads
See all four of the babies

A Canadian woman has given birth to extremely rare identical quadruplets.

The four girls were born at a US hospital because there was no space available at Canadian neonatal intensive care units.

Karen Jepp and her husband JP, of Calgary, were taken to a Montana hospital where the girls were delivered two months early by Caesarean section.

Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia are in good condition at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Montana.

'One in 13 million'

A medical team and space for the babies had been organised for the Jepp family at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary but several other babies were born unexpectedly early, filling the neonatal intensive care unit.

Health officials said they checked every other neonatal intensive care unit in Canada but none had space.

The Jepps, a nurse and a respiratory technician were flown 500km (310 miles) to the Montana hospital, the closest in the US, where the quadruplets were born on Sunday.

Their weights at birth ranged from 1.07kg (two pounds six ounces) to 1.33kg (two pounds 15 ounces) but they did not need to be put on a respirator.

The girls were conceived naturally.

Doctors say the chances of having naturally-conceived identical quadruplets is one in 13 million.

Mrs Jepp told Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper that the last couple of weeks had been "really tough".

"We're in another country. We're just trying to get through the next few days. We need to get back home."

She said they expected to be transferred to Calgary very soon but the girls will have to spend another four to six weeks in hospital.

The family are looking for a bigger house for their newly-expanded family, a relative told the Globe and Mail.

The quadruplets have a two-year-old brother, Simon.

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