The rise in cases of Blood disorders in children– Bone Marrow Transplant a permanent cure
SRI GANGANAGAR: Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram offered Free OPD services to children suffering from Blood Disorders, Thalassemia, Blood Cancer, and those in need of a Bone Marrow Transplant. The OPD took place at Tapovan Blood Bank, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, and was attended by 110 patients who had traveled from in and around the city to take consultation. The consultation was given by the leading pediatric hematologist of India, Dr. Vikas Dua, Additional Director and Head of Department Paediatric Haematology, Haematol- Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
Each year roughly 2500 to 3000 Bone Marrow Transplant’s (BMT) are performed in India. However, the people in need of a Bone marrow transplant are way more than the transplants taking place in India. There is a steep gap in the requirement of Bone Marrow Transplants and the actual BMT taking place. The reason for the same is the lack of awareness, infrastructure, facilities, and skilled physicians. The indication of doing a BMT is blood cancers, thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, immune deficiencies, aplastic anemia, certain autoimmune disorders, and nowadays it is being performed for some solid tumors (brain tumor, neuroblastoma, and sarcomas).
Dr. Vikas Dua, Additional Director and Head of Department Paediatric Haematology, Haematol – Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Fortis Hospital, Gurugram said, “In India, there is a significant rise in children being diagnosed with blood disorders, however, often they do not get the right treatment. I have observed that a lot of children are suffering from blood disorders like thalassemia and aplastic anemia in this region. However, due to the lack of awareness, they ignore the early symptoms of these diseases. It is important to create awareness that these diseases are permanently curable through a Bone Marrow Transplant. The common conditions of blood disorders for which BMT is required can be easily identified by the parents if they know these symptoms like – thalassemic require monthly blood transfusion from the age of 6 months. Aplastic- These patients have low hemoglobin, low white cell counts, and low platelets, so they usually present with weakness, tiredness, persistent fever, or bleeding spots (red or blue-colored spots) over the body. Blood Cancer patients also present with weakness, tiredness, increased risk of infections, and bleeding.”
“Bone Marrow Transplant is the only curative treatment available to date for this disorder. We need to do a test of patients and siblings called HLA to see whether they are matching or not (there is a 25 to 30 % chance that a sibling would be a complete match to the patient on HLA). For the rest of the patients, an unrelated donor search is adopted in which the donor is taken through international and national stem cell registries. If the patient does not get a donor from inside or outside the family, then we can do half match transplant (haploidentical transplant) – where either father or mother becomes the donor.” said Dr. Dua.
Dr. Ritu Garg, Zonal Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram said, “The key purpose to do this special OPD was to create awareness on the rise in the Paediatric Blood Disorders and offer our state-of-the-art services to the people of Sri Ganganagar and Rajasthan. Our aim is to serve the children suffering from blood disorders by offering them timely diagnosis and treatment. Often people travel very far from their hometown to consult the specialists for an initial assessment. Conducting such OPDs helps people to take an expert opinion closer to their home and get a timely diagnosis. This Free OPD service is yet another patient-centric step taken by the country’s leading healthcare provider to deliver quality healthcare through world-class services.”
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