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Bengaluru, Dec 30: A four-year-old Afghan child successfully underwent a bone marrow transplant for a rare bone marrow disease, called Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia, at a city hospital here. Kulraj, son of an Afghan Sikh refugee was diagnosed with the disease at the age of two. In this disease, platelets are not produced in marrow and patients have life threatening bleeding manifestations. It can evolve into 'Aplastic Anemia' wherein marrow fails to form all the blood components.
Blood and marrow stem cell transplant is the only cure for the disease but due to the scarcity of family donors with matching stem cells, half-matched or haplo-identical transplant from a family member is also performed. The patient's parents initially approached the Delhi based All India Institute of Medical Sciences but due to the heavy treatment cost, the treatment was denied. (Read: Unique drive launched to get bone marrow donors)
Therefore, the patient was brought to Narayana Hospital, where the treatment was done free of cost. The team of doctors at the hospital used his father's stem cells with a 50 percent match to perform the bone marrow stem cell transplant Nov 14. 'In most cases, success of a bone marrow transplant depends on how well the donor's and recipient's HLA tissue types match. Transplant has best results when all the known major HLA antigens are a match. In Kulraj's case, this was the biggest challenge as no matching donor was available...,' said Sunil Bhat, Senior doctor from the team which performed the transplant. (Read: Leukemia, thalassemia, aplastic anemia can now be 'cured' with bone marrow transplants!)
He said the patient took one month to completely recover. Speaking about the transplant, Devi Shetty, chairperson, Narayana Health City, said: 'It is the right of every patient walking into the hospital to have access to the best of medical advice, advanced level of treatment and care.'
Photo source: Getty images
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