Doctors at Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) saved the life of a one-year-old thalassemia patient by performing a “Matched Unrelated Donor Transplantation (MUD)”. The baby was diagnosed with “Thalassemia Major” and lifelong blood transfusions were initially considered the only option. However, Dr. Vikas Dua, Head & Senior Consultant, Department of Paediatric Haematology Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant at FMRI presented the option of Matched Unrelated Donor Transplantation, as an option as no full match donor was available in the family. Dr. Vikas and his team started the search and found that there is a possible unrelated match available in an Indian registry. All the permutations and combinations were explored and a transplant was successfully conducted.

Dr Vikas Dua, Head & Senior Consultant, Department of Paediatric Haematology Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant said, “When a baby is diagnosed with Thalassemia Major, they require regular blood transfusions. This, along with the cost of medications, can cause the family financial burden. In such cases, the hope is Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT), which is boon for all Thalassemia patients. However very few people are aware of the fact that a Matched Unrelated Donor Transplantation can be conducted successfully with an unrelated donor. In this particular case, the transplant was carried out and it went well. The baby is doing fine one-year post the transplant.”

Dr. Rahul Bhargava, Director, Department of Clinical Haematology & Bone Marrow Transplant at FMRI said, “It is important for all couples who are about to conceive to undergo a thalassemia check test called HPLC. With simplest measure of counselling and check-up, we can save a life.”

Dr. Ritu Garg, Zonal Director at FMRI, said, “FMRI has strived hard to build a multi-disciplinary Department of Haematology, Pediatric Hemato Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant. A dynamic team of clinicians equipped with latest technology and infrastructure undertake complex and challenging transplant cases and meticulously execute the same. The specialities that are honed and developed to ensure that intricate, convoluted and nearly impossible cases are handled with patience and finesse. The team flawlessly demonstrates the highest level of expertise the institute has to offer to its patients.”

The bone marrow is the spongy, fatty tissue inside our bones and it produces blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Stem cells are underdeveloped cells in the bone marrow, which give rise to all of our different blood cells. A donor can give healthy stem cells, or our own body can produce them. A Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) is a procedure, which involves transplanting blood stem cells, which travel to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote growth of new marrow. Bone marrow may be destroyed due to various reasons such as infection, long-standing illness or even strong medical treatment procedures such as chemotherapy.


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