The two radiation exposure patients, undergoing treatment at Army Hospital Research and Referral in New Delhi, may require bone marrow transplant which will cost Rs 14-20 lakh to the government.
Ajay Jain (40) and Deepak Jain (32) have been admitted to the Army Hospital Research and Referral with compromised bone marrow.
"If the bone marrow transplant is done then the expenditure will be around seven to ten lakhs for each patient," Lieutenant General Naresh Kumar, Commandant, Army Hospital Research and Referral said.
A prospective donor for bone marrow transplant is under process for one of the patients, while for the other a matched sibling donor has been found.
"Both the patients have compromised bone marrow and low blood counts, however, they are clinically stable at present. One of the patients has a fully matched Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) sibling donor who may need to undergo a bone marrow transplant in due course if bone marrow recovery does not occur. The donors for the second patient is under evaluation," Kumar said.
A bone marrow transplant in a private hospital in India will cost between Rs 12 to Rs 20 lakh, while the same will cost between three to four lakh US dollars abroad.
Explaining the need for a bone marrow transplant Lt Gen Kumar said, "BMT is indicated for patients with radiation exposure with severe degree of haematological toxicity where there is extremely low blood count or bone marrow is severely suppressed.
"Also it is necessary that no other vital organs have been damaged by radiation which limits the usefulness of the BMT because of the high morbidity and mortality involved in such cases."
Brigadier Velu Nair, head of the department of haematology and BMT, AHR&H said, "We will wait and see if the patient's bone marrow regenerates over the next few weeks, then it is fine. However, if bone marrow failure is established then we are fully prepared to carry out BMT in these patients from their sibling donors."
He also said, "It is a time consuming and labour intensive process to carry out a BMT. It takes three to four weeks and these patients have to be observed for six to 12 months for development of various immunological and infective complications post transplant."