92 med students pledge to donate bone marrow

The Bone Marrow Registry maintained by the Bangalore Medical College Development Trust (BMCDT) has collected blood samples of 20,000 donors since 2015.

Ninety-two medical students have pledged to donate bone marrow by giving their blood samples to the Bone Marrow Registry maintained by the Bangalore Medical College Development Trust (BMCDT). 

Since 2015, the registry has collected blood samples of 20,000 people, who are ready to donate bone marrow at any point in time.

"Before donating bone marrow, it’s very important for the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) of the donor and the recipient to match. Normally, patients suffering from serious illnesses such as leukaemia, lymphoma and thalassemia, among others, require bone marrow transplant and it is important that the patient's HLA matches that of the donor," Dr K M Srinivasa Gowda, chairman, BMCDT, said on the occasion of World Marrow Donor Day–2018 on Saturday. 

"To make things easy for recipients, we have already conducted HLA testing on 20,000 volunteers, whereby we took their blood samples and tested the HLA by separating it from the DNA. We maintain the records, and recipients can approach us for a probability match," he said. The cost of conducting the HLA screening was borne by the Infosys Foundation and Cafe Coffee Day, he added. 

Samples at the registry, however, are yet to match any recipient, though it gets two calls every week. 

Dr Gowda stressed the need to raise awareness about the need to maintain the registry. He said the government had promised to help the registry and there were plans to make bone marrow transplants affordable for BPL families. 

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92 med students pledge to donate bone marrow

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