Hope for the terminally ill | india | Hindustan Times
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Hope for the terminally ill

THERE?S HOPE now for terminally ill children. The KGMU is going to gift them Stem Cell Banking (SCB) this Diwali, the first of its kind in the public sector, in the state.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 00:16 IST

THERE’S HOPE now for terminally ill children. The KGMU is going to gift them Stem Cell Banking (SCB) this Diwali, the first of its kind in the public sector, in the state.

The Department of Pathology has already completed a pilot project with the process of isolating and preserving the umbilical cord blood in deep freezers for six months. The results have been surprising enough to convince that KGMU’s Pathology Department can go ahead. The project is unique as it would facilitate medical aid for even those who do not have their children’s cord blood preserved.

“Starting cord blood preservation in public sector would make it available for all. Those who can afford it and those who cannot,” said Dr Tulika Chandra, who had prepared the blueprint for the SCB project at KGMU.

As per the project details, the Department of Pathology would make the Queen Mary’s Hospital its resource centre. Pregnant women coming here for delivery would be counseled to allow placenta blood preservation, either exclusively for their own child or to the Department for general use.

“Placenta blood is a waste after delivery so it would not be difficult to obtain permission from women. However, if they want it preserved exclusively for their child, they will need to pay,” said Dr Chandra.

The Department plans to store the placenta blood with the help of liquid nitrogen up to 20 years. Any patient needing the blood would get it after the gene-type (HAL type) is matched and result is positive. The minimum cost of preservation is to be paid by the parents, in cases where results are positive and cells are to be given.

Patients of leukaemia, anaemia, Thallasaemia or those with cancer going for radiotherapy and chemotherapy can make best use of this blood. With this, the side effects of the radiation on other body organs can be avoided as results of the tests conducted here have already shown over 70 per cent success rate, Dr Chandra claimed.

The department has already sent a proposal to the State Government and is waiting for the grants to begin infrastructure work in the Department. Once the project is started, within four months, the bank would start functioning for the patients.