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NGO Datri sets a benchmark for overseas transplant

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : October 11, 2012 11:53 AM IST

blood cellsSetting precedence in the country for overseas transplant, stem cells from a 50-year-old woman in Nagpur were donated to treat a 40-year-old South Asian patient awaiting a transplant in a London hospital. The patient abroad was suffering from blood cancer.

Chennai-based NGO Datri monitored the entire process. The NGO is working to create a global database of potential donors which can be accessed by patient in need of stem cell transplant anywhere in the world.

Datri was contacted a couple of months ago by British charity Anthony Nolan looking for the donor cells. The charity manages and recruits donors for stem cell transplants for leukaemic patients.

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'The UK marrow registry had contacted Anthony Nolan who in turn contacted us after they saw the details of the donor we had put up on the Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide website. The Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) match which is essential to check the compatibility between donor and recipient was found to be a perfect 10/10,' said Raghu Rajagopal, CEO and co-founder of Datri.

'I played the role of a human courier. There was a special container which was carrying the blood cells to create the necessary atmosphere. Prior arrangements had to be made at the concerned airport for transportation of the container,' Rajagopal added.

Since this case was an overseas procedure, it was challenging. Datri has built a potential donor base of 21,000 over the last one year and has helped conduct 13 transplants so far.

'There is always the chance that a donor might back out at the last minute despite counselling. However, in this case, donor availability, matching as well as patient requirement - all fit in successfully,' Rajagopal said.

Applauding the successful transplant, Dr Sunil Parekh, chairman of the Marrow Donor Registry of India said, 'It is fantastic that an overseas transplant has happened. It has set a benchmark for all other registries.'

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