Thalassemia patients here have a reason to rejoice. The civil hospital is likely to start stem cell therapy soon for thalassemia major patients, which will be a boon for these patients, who have to undergo blood transfusion twice a month, on an average.
There are around 130 registered patients of thalassemia at the civil hospital. Most of these patients have to undergo blood transfusion twice a month, on an average. The hospital receives around 400 to 450 units of blood, which are collected mostly through blood donation camps. However, there is always a dearth of nearly 150 units as the in-house consumption of the hospital is around 600-650 units.
Dr RL Bassan, civil surgeon, said, "We are trying our best for 100% blood collection through voluntary donations, but the hospital is still to achieve that target. Our efforts are on and I hope soon we will be self-sufficient in providing blood to the patients at the civil hospital."
However, during the summer and the student examination time, very less number of donors report at the camps and thalassemia patients face difficulties as blood transfusion is necessity for them and the shortage of blood turns out to be a big roadblock.
Sources in the hospital revealed that efforts were on to start stem cell treatment for the thalassemia patients registered with the hospital.
He said, "We will carry out treatment on a trial basis on a few patients at first, and eventually will extend it to others. If the project becomes successful, it will be a great achievement for us and will be a boon for thalassemic patients."
Stem cell treatment is currently being provided to patients in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, where it has been a success story and has helped the thalassemia patients to cope up with the problem of shortage of blood.