NGO shows the way in the use of rare blood type

NGO shows the way in the use of rare blood type

Representative image: iStock image

Here is an organisation that makes the best use of a rare type of blood. This NGO works to improve networking to overcome regional limitations to ensure the right patient gets the Bombay blood group. 

Only one in every 10,000 donors has Bombay blood group, a rare blood type. Around 200 of them are registered with the NGO, Sankalp India. The organisation conducts blood donation camps and helps patients get bone marrow transplants by connecting them with matching donors among other activities. 

Between January 17 and February 2, Sankalp’s emergency team received six requests for the Bombay blood group. But only four transfers were made and there was no loss of lives. This serves as an example of the rational use of rare blood types. 

Nithya R, Coordinator, Emergency Requirement of Rare Blood Groups, Sankalp India, said: “On January 17, we received a request for Bombay blood group for a pregnant lady, who was due to deliver at Rajarajeswari Hospital here. She had a haemoglobin of 12gm/dl.

In spite of a healthy haemoglobin count, doctors insisted having one unit ready on the shelf considering the rare blood type.” 

Luckily, one unit was available at the KR Hospital, Mysuru. The doctors, however, advised the family to shift the woman to KR Hospital. But the family refused to do so.

A specialist at the hospital, who was an acquaintance of the family, spoke to the team at Sankalp. The specialist confirmed that with the haemoglobin of 12 gm/dl, the chances of needing the transfusion were remote. 

The doctors no longer insisted on the blood unit being made available on the shelf. This was a case of a needless donation being averted.

On January 22, a request for the Bombay blood group was made from the St John’s Hospital in the city for a patient who was due to undergo amputation with a haemoglobin of 10 gm/dl. The unit available at the KR Hospital was transferred on January 29 and the surgery was conducted. 

“Gradually improving networking for the rare blood types has vastly improved our collective ability to ensure the right blood is available to the right patient irrespective of the regional limitations and challenges,” said Nithya. “The direction of work we have chosen is to rationalising blood use and collaborate, and this seems to be paying.” 


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