Bombay blood group, which the rarest blood group to be found in the human population found its way to Myanmar via courier from Bangalore. Two units of this rare group saved a 34-year-old woman’s life who underwent a heart surgery.
According to The Times of India, the blood was stored in a Davanagere blood bank, in Karnataka. The request was received from a hospital known as Yangon General Hospital in Myanmar.
Sankalp India Foundation
An NGO based in Bangalore, Sankalp India Foundation, was contacted by a doctor in Myanmar. The foundation has been working for voluntary blood donation in Karnataka since 2003. It is one of the organizations that help patients worldwide with the ‘Bombay blood group’.
Sankalp India Foundationhas done extensive work in the areas of quality and safety of blood donation camps, studying the extent of non-compliance and adverse donor events blood banks in voluntary blood donation camps.
Tracking down the Bombay blood group
As there were no donors in Myanmar, the blood had to be shipped from India. The ‘Save India Foundation’ (SIF) team coordinated with the medical officer in charge of the bank to dispatch the units.
Two units of Bombay blood were available with the SS Institute of Medical Science and Research Institute in Davangere. The SIF team with the in charge of the blood bank and the principal of the college for dispatching the units. The samples were sent through international courier which exports biological samples. The units were then picked from Davangere on November 27.
Mumbai-based National Institute of Immuno-Haematology was approached by SIF for permission to send the units abroad.
Bombay blood group is present in 0.0004% of the human population, belonging to O+ve category and was first found in Bombay, giving it the name “Bombay blood group”. Antigen H, which is available in blood groups A, B, AB, and O is missing in those having Bombay blood group.
It is imperative for the welfare of the people to maintain a comprehensive and regularly updated database of blood donors, especially to cater to the ultra-rare groups such as the Bombay blood group.