There no blood match for this boy


BANGALORE: At 13, he is suffering from a disease that requires him to get blood transfusions regularly. Thalassaemia may not be rare, but Kiran Manjappa's blood group is. The Davangere boy, who is undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, belongs to the rare Bombay Blood Group. In India, only one in 17,000 persons have this blood type. Kiran needs donors to save his life. Hailing from a village near Davangere, he was brought to Bangalore early this week on the advice of Sankalp India Foundation, a blood bank that has a statewide network through its 24-hour hotline.

"My son was normal till he completed one year. Then, his head started growing big and he became inactive. Doctors told us that he was generally weak. We are coolies and we could not afford further treatment," Renukamma, Kiran's mother, told TOI.

Kiran was sent to school when he was five, but he could not tolerate his classmates' comments about his looks.

A normal person should have a haemoglobin level of more than 10 grams per decilitre. For thalassaemics, it should be more than 8 grams per decilitre, but Kiran has just 3.5, which is alarming.


According to Dr Vishwanath Veeranna, chief of transfusion medicine centres at Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Care, Kiran requires blood transfusion at least once a month, throughout his life. "There is nothing abnormal about Kiran suffering from thalassaemia but his is Bombay Blood Group. This makes treatment difficult as there are hardly any donors of this blood group. We have screened over 10,000 persons in our blood bank over the past 5-6 years, but have not come across a single person with this blood," said Dr Vishwanath.

"So far, we have found only 20 such persons in Karnataka. We were able to arrange for one unit from a donor early this week, but are not able to find donors now. Most persons in our network have donated blood as one among them underwent a surgery. The remaining ones are over 60 years old," said Rajat Agarwal of Sankalp.

Kiran's parents are not aware of either the Bombay Blood Group nor are they aware of complications due to thalassaemia.

The blood bank has a similar request from a woman suffering from a medical complication, warranting a surgery.