Asian Journal of Transfusion Science
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-98

Study on effectiveness of transfusion program in thalassemia major patients receiving multiple blood transfusions at a transfusion centre in Western India


1 MBBS Student (Intern Doctor), Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, India
2 Medical Director, Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), Ahmedabad, India
3 Department of Pathology, Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Neeraj Shah
4/43, Parishram Apartments, Nr. Bimanagar, Satellite road, Ahmedabad - 380 015
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6247.67029

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Background : Children suffering from beta-thalassemia major require repeated blood transfusions which may be associated with dangers like iron overload and contraction of infections such as HIV, HCV, and HBsAg which ultimately curtail their life span. On the other hand, inadequate transfusions lead to severe anemia and general fatigue and debility. Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from 142 beta-thalassemia major patients aged 3 years or more receiving regular blood transfusions at a transfusion centre in Western India from 1 April 2009 to 30 June 2009. The clinical data and laboratory results were subsequently analyzed. Results: Of the 142 patients, 76 (53.5%) were undertransfused (mean Hb <10 gm%). 96 (67%) of the patients were taking some form of chelation therapy but out of them only 2 (2%) were adequately chelated (S. ferritin <1000 ng/ml). 5 (3.5%) of the patients were known diabetics on insulin therapy. 103 (72%) of the patients were retarded in terms of growth. The prevalence of transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) such as HCV, HIV, and HBsAg was respectively 45%, 2%, and 2%, with the prevalence of HCV being significantly more than the general population. The HCV prevalence showed positive correlation with the age of the patients and with the total no of blood transfusions received. As many as 15% (6 out of 40) children who were born on or after 2002 were HCV positive despite the blood they received being subjected to screening for HCV. Conclusions: The study suggests the need to step up the transfusions to achieve hemoglobin goal of 10 gm% (as per the moderate transfusion regimen) and also to institute urgent and effective chelation measures with the aim of keeping serum ferritin levels below 1000 ng/ml to avoid the systemic effects of iron overload. In addition, strict monitoring of the children for endocrinopathy and other systemic effects of iron overload should be done. Rigid implementation of quality control measures for the ELISA kits used to detect HCV in donor blood needs to be done urgently. Alternately, more sensitive and specific measures (like NAT testing) should be employed for detection of HCV. In the absence of a definitive cure accessible and available to all patients, strict implementation of the above suggested measures will go a long way in improving the quality (and quantity) of life in patients of beta-thalassemia major.


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2006 - Asian Journal of Transfusion Science | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th November, 2006