Asian Journal of Transfusion Science
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR Table of Contents   
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162
A profile of rare bloods in Oman

1 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Institute of Health Sciences, Muscat, Oman
2 Department of Blood Bank and Haematology, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Al Khod, Oman
3 Department of Blood Services, Ministry of Health, Central Blood Bank, Boshar, Oman

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Date of Web Publication25-Jul-2013

How to cite this article:
Joshi SR, Pathare A, Al-Marhoubi A, Al-Muhaidry R, Ashraf T. A profile of rare bloods in Oman. Asian J Transfus Sci 2013;7:162

How to cite this URL:
Joshi SR, Pathare A, Al-Marhoubi A, Al-Muhaidry R, Ashraf T. A profile of rare bloods in Oman. Asian J Transfus Sci [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Aug 11];7:162. Available from:


Oman is geographically situated in West Asia bordering Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The country's population is 2.69 million comprising of 1.95 million Omani and remainders being expatriate guest workers mainly from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and African nations. [1] WHO has recognized Oman and ranked it 8 th best for its healthcare systems. [2] Blood transfusion service has grown to match other disciplines in providing health care to its people. [3] Yet there is a scope for further improvement in area like rare blood donor registry.

Blood is considered rare when the red cells lack a high frequency blood group antigen or multiple common antigens in which alloantibody is present. [4] In practice, such blood may occur with a frequency of 1:1,000 in a given population. [4] Frequency of a particular rare blood may vary from one country to another and that a rare blood type found in one country may not be so rare in the other places. As many as eight different kinds of rare blood groups are encountered in Oman, including K+k−, Yt(a−), Jr(a−), P−, U−, McLeod phenotype/depressed Kell antigens, Js(b−), and all of these except McLeod phenotype case had developed clinically significant allo-antibodies. A patient with rare blood type may pose a problem in procuring blood units for transfusion. Current practice in Oman is to screen the patient's relatives to find a matching blood donor. Blood bank services should establish networks/channels to get help from others in the hour of need.

The world is a global village and people migrate from one place to another for varied reasons. Countries like Oman employ expatriate guest workers from different regions. Native Omanis are of various ethnic groups some of which have their ancestral roots in different countries. It is conceivable that the rare bloods present in these countries may also be found in Oman as well. Therefore, blood bank services in Oman should keep preparedness to face emergencies related to rare bloods. Regular screening for rare blood may help build a data base and in preserving blood in frozen state also ensure its availability in time of need. If facilities to store frozen blood are unavailable, at least maintenance of rare donor registry would be of great help. Besides, a liaison with international rare blood panel registry would also be of immense value.

   References Top

1.Oman Information Service. Sultanate′s population is 2.69 m, Census. 2010. Available from: m.asp. [Last accessed 2011 Mar 14].  Back to cited text no. 1
2.World Health Organization. The World Health Report, 2000. Health Systems: Improving Performance, In the World Health Report, 2000. Available from: [Last accessed 2011 Mar 14].  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Joshi SR, Shah Al-Bulushi SN, Ashraf T. Development of blood transfusion service in Sultanate of Oman. Asian J TransfusSci 2010;4:34-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Reesink HW, Engelfriet CP, Schennach H, Gassner C, Wendel S, Fontão-Wendel R, et al. Donors with a rare pheno (geno) type. Vox Sang 2008;95:236-53.  Back to cited text no. 4

Correspondence Address:
Sanmukh R Joshi
Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, No. 1-8, Persiaran Seksyen 4/1, Bandar Putra Bertam, 13200 Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6247.115598

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