What is Bombay blood group and how it saved a Dhaka man

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Surprised? but this type of blood does exist. Rarest of the rare blood group, it is very crucial to understand this blood type. Here are the following things that one should know about this blood group.

It is an extremely rare ABO group, which was found in a few people in Mumbai, which got it the name.

Giving Blood Saves Lives
  • This blood group is also found among the people in Caucasia and Japan.
  • The H Antigen is absent. Therefore, the A, B, AB and O blood groups that are manifestations of the H are completely alien to the Bombay Blood type.
  • This blood group was first discovered at Parel's KEM Hospital when a patient who had come for treatment started developing reaction to O blood.
  • It is to be cautioned that people with this blood type should never be donated any other blood type.
Recently, a man from Dhaka with this rare blood type met with an accident. The sole bread winner of the family, hospital authorities had difficulty saving him as they could not find his blood prototype.
Mohammed Kamruzzaman had to undergo a life-saving surgery, but the only hinderance was his blood type. This is when four Mumbaikars stepped in. When the blood banks in Bangladesh failed to trace the blood group, India had less than 400 people with the known type of blood. Out of which, four were active traceable donors.

S K Tuhinur Alam, one of Kamruzzaman's colleagues, reached Mumbai to collect the blood donated by Swapna Sawant, Krishnanand Kori, Mehul Bhelekar and Pravin Shinde. 

A thankful Alam narrated his ordeal in tracing the blood.

He said, "We had given up hope. The bones of his left leg and hand are shattered. His pelvis is broken. Doctors told us only surgery could guarantee complete recovery. We searched up and down the city (Dhaka) and called up an uncountable number of hospitals and blood banks, but most had never heard of this blood group. The hospital found his sister had the same group, but was not fit to donate. Our employer, Arinoba Plastic Industries, facilitated this inter-country coordination after learning that Kamruzzaman was the family's main breadwinner and his ailing mother's treatment was dependent on his earnings. In a way, India is saving an entire family."

However, Vinay Shetty of the NGO Think Foundation in Mumbai had an uphill task of approving the export of the blood. "We had to seek many permissions as export is permitted only under license. We got approvals from the State Blood Transfusion Council, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, Directorate of Health Services and CISF that mans airport security," Shetty said.

The blood units were transported in special plastic box with ice gel packs. Shetty said,"Blood has a long shelf life, of about six weeks. Temperature control is key."

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