Fortis Vadapalani saves life of 63-year-old patient with rare blood group ‘Bombay Phenotype’; Blood air lifted from Chennai to Kolkata

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Fortis Vadapalani saves life of 63-year-old patient with rare blood group ‘Bombay Phenotype’; Blood air lifted from Chennai to Kolkata

Chennai: In a rare feat, Fortis Vadapalani successfully facilitated the transfer of a rare blood group – ‘Bombay phenotype’ red cells, to save the life of a critically ill patient in Kolkata. Fortis Vadapalani received a request from a private hospital in Kolkata for a rare group blood required for 63-year-old anemic patient suffering from chronic kidney disease. The request was honored by Fortis Vadapalani’s Blood Centre and blood was airlifted to Kolkata. 

One Unit of blood was safely delivered to Kolkata Medical College and Hospital within 6 hours. The Bombay Rh positive packed red cells was crossmatched in Kolkata Medical College the following day and declared safe to be transfused. The patient was successfully transfused with Bombay blood the next day and was discharged after 24 hours. Transport of blood was facilitated by Platelet Club – a Chennai based voluntary blood donation group who have coordinated 32 such rare blood product transfer throughout India in 2022. By establishing proper and quick communication at the pick-up and drop-off points, the transfer took place smoothly without any delays.

Dr. Shanmugha Priya R.A., Consultant Transfusion Medicine, Fortis Hospital Vadapalani said, “The rare Bombay blood type was first discovered in Mumbai by Dr. Y M Bhende in 1952. Only one in 4 million around the world has the Bombay type or ‘hh’ group – a rare blood type. Its prevalence is higher in South Asia and in India only 1 in 10,000 people are born with this blood type. This rare Bombay blood type is often confused with the ‘O’ blood type. Only after a specific test for ‘H’ antigen a distinction can be made between the Bombay blood group and the ‘O’ blood group. There are very few people with this blood type, so identifying volunteers remains a challenge. In this particular case, we found the donor while he was at Fortis Vadapalani, donating blood to his ailing father.”

Educating about this rare blood type, Dr. Shanmugha Priya R.A explained that many people are unaware that they have this rare blood group. She urges people with this rare blood type to exercise more caution in their daily life (like wearing a helmet, seat belt while driving etc).  She also added that it is important to motivate voluntary Bombay phenotype donors to donate blood.

Commenting on the successful transport of the rare blood type across state borders Mr. Venkata Phanidhar Nelluri, SBU Head, Fortis Hospitals Chennai said “Shortage of blood is a serious concern, especially for some of these rare types. Indeed, it is possible to save lives by transferring blood across borders if we have the required infrastructure. We take pride in saying that at Fortis Hospital Vadapalani we have state-of-the-art facilities to screen all blood types, store and supply it across the country. We thank the donor and everyone who made this transportation and transfusion of blood to the critical patient within the crux of time.”

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