With no national registry to maintain a record of people having Bombay blood group, it becomes difficult for a person with this rare blood group to find a donor from the same state. When the world would celebrate World Blood Donor Day on June 14, Vinay Shetty, an activist, working for the Bombay blood group people and people with this rare blood group, appeals government to create a national registry wherein the names of people with Bombay Blood group would be stored.
Last week, a four-year-old girl from Raipur needed this rare blood group called Bombay blood for her surgery. When the hospital and patients’ relatives could not find anyone from Chhattisgarh who could donate blood to the girl, two donors from Mumbai helped the girl by donating their blood. The blood was transported through airplane.
It is not just one case wherein Bombay blood was sought from other states. Think Foundation — an NGO which coordinates between patients and donors, have also received calls from Shillong, Bhubaneswar, Jamshedpur and Guwahati where the blood was made available from Mumbai or Pune.
There are few hundred in the country whose blood group is not O, A, B, or AB, but a special type called (HH) – a rare one first discovered in Bombay in 1952, and hence christened as Bombay blood. People who carry this rare blood type, present in 0.0004 per cent of humans, can accept blood only from another Bombay blood type individual, and not from anyone else.
There are around 400 people with Bombay Positive Blood group and around 20 people with Bombay Negative Blood group who are registered on different platforms created by NGO’s in different states, especially for people having Bombay blood group. Active citizens, who are working for the people from this blood group, have been demanding a national registry where all the people having Bombay Blood group would be registered.
Vinay Shetty, founder of Think Foundation, said, “I have already written to National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) to create a national registry where the names and other details of all the people having Bombay Blood group would be registered. I am planning to write again another letter. Government should ask all the blood banks in India to get their names registered with this national registry. Once the registry is build, they can hand it over to NGO’s who can then coordinate whenever there is any demand.”
“Also there is need to have cryopreservation of this rare blood. Currently neither private nor government hospitals do that,” he added.
Alok Paidarker, a person from Bombay blood group community in Pune, said, “I have seen many cases where the blood of a person from Pune was sent by air to the patient from some other state. If the national registry is created it would be easy for us to find a donor in that state. It becomes crucial in urgent circumstances. If started early by the government, more and more people will get themselves registered and things will be systematised soon.”