RARE BLOOD DONOR REGISTRY ON CARDS.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) is planning to set up a rare blood donor registry to improve the management of sickle cell disease and thalassaemia in Oman.
Speaking to Muscat Daily , Dr Zainab Alfana Alarimi, director of the Department of Blood Banks Services in MoH said, 'In most instances, compatible blood is readily available. There are, however, some challenges in providing rare blood in a time-sensitive situation to some patients or antigen negative for multiple common blood group antigens.
'Searching for a rare blood donor is like looking for a needle in a haystack. An individual's blood type is considered to be rare because one individual with this rare blood group can be found in 1,000 screened blood donors. It includes high-frequency-antigen-negative and multiple-common-antigen-negative.'
Dr Zainab said that the national registry will cut down on time required to find blood for patients suffering from sickle cell disease and thalassaemia and will improve the management of sickle cell disease in Oman.
She said that a person's blood can either be A, B, AB or O type with RhD negative or positive. 'You might not be totally sure what each bit means, but one of them is definitely a universal donor (O) and another is a universal recipient (AB).'
However, there are some other than in the ABO blood group system which are called minor blood groups and these are represented in more than 600 known antigens besides A, B and Rh. 'These blood group antigens are very important as patients who require transfusion and have antibodies against these RBC antigens have to get blood that are antigen negative for the corresponding antibodies they already have. Finding units negative for multiple antigens is not easy and is a challenge because it requires screening a large number of donors for these rare blood groups.'
She said that in Oman, this is very challenging as there is a significant number of sickle cell disease patients and some have multiple RBC antibodies who require transfusion of rare blood groups. 'Strategies are made to reduce the incidence of RBC alloimmunisation in sickle cell disease including giving these patients phenotype matched blood for the Rh blood group and Kell to reduce the risk of developing antibodies against these antigens. 'This will be done through the rare blood donor registry by screening regular donors for rare blood group phenotype at the Department of Blood Banks Services in Oman.'
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|Publication:||Muscat Daily (Muscat, Oman)|
|Date:||May 1, 2019|
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