The ultimate cure for Thalassemia is getting bone marrow transplant done. A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure performed to replace bone marrow that has been damaged or destroyed by disease, infection, or chemotherapy. This procedure involves transplanting blood stem cells, which travel to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote growth of new marrow. Although bone marrow transplant is the ultimate cure but nowadays STEM CELLS TRANSPLANT (STP) is taking its place because it is less painful and much easier for the patients. Stem cells transplant is a medical procedure in which the stem cells are collected from the blood stream.
Difference between Stem Cell Transplantation & Bone Marrow Transplantation
The only basis of difference between the stem cell transplantation & bone marrow transplantation is how the cells are being collected. In case of bone marrow transplant the cells are collected from the bone marrow and then transferred in the body of patients, but in the case of Stem cell transplantation, the cells are collected from the blood streams. Another name for stem cell transplantation is Peripheral blood system cell transplant.
Ideal Age for BMT:-
The maximum age for getting BMT done should be 13 years. It should be kept in mind that at growing age the patients tend to suffer more problems and diseases during regular blood transfusions, so BMT should be done as soon as possible.
BMT Centers in India
1. Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore
2. Apollo Indraprashtha Hospital, Delhi
3. Fortis Hospital Mumbai, Mulund
4. Apollo Hospital, Chennai
5. S.L.Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai
6. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Kolkata
7. Sawai Man Singh Hospital, Jaipur
8. Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital, Indore
9. Columbia Asia Hospitals, Bangalore
10. Rajiv Gandhi, Delhi
11. Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata
12. People Tree Hospitals, Bangalore
13. CIMS Hospital, Ahmedabad
Pre BMT Health
The health of the patients should be taken proper care from the beginning like maintaining the HB Levels (8-10) gm and Iron level (<1000ng/ml) in the body. Problems such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and spleen issues should be prevented, otherwise the BMT can’t be performed and the patients have to wait until they are cured of their diseases. It is often seen that during the blood transfusions, patients tend to get such diseases because of the infected blood received. So parents should take proper care that their child is safe from such diseases before going for bone marrow transplant.
Post BMT Care
After the bone marrow transplant in the patient, their immune system is very weak and they are at risk of infection. Even if you get checkups of your white blood cells, it may seem normal but because your immune system is still recovering from the treatment,it is still prone to get diseases. One should always watch for infections, symptoms like fever, Cough, sweats or chills, sore throat, scratchy throat, or pain when swallowing, sinus drainage, nasal congestion, headaches, trouble urinating: pain or burning, constant urge, or frequent urination, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, redness, swelling, tenderness, or drainage at the site of your central venous catheter, diarrhea, lesions (sores) or white patches in your mouth or on your tongue, skin rash , vaginal discomfort, itching, or unusual discharge, should be given proper attention and it must be reported to the doctor whom you are consulting. Below are described some ways on how one can protect himself/herself from the infections:-
Preventions from Direct Contact:-
Wash your hands: –
After touching pets or animals
After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose
After going outdoors
Before taking medicines
After touching soiled linens or clothes
Prevent respiratory infections: –
Avoid close contact with people who have cough, cold, etc.
Avoid crowded areas where you are unable to control the distance between you and others
Avoid construction sites, including homes or buildings that are being repaired or remodeled
Avoid tobacco and marijuana use.
Avoid wood-burning fireplaces, since the wood contains fungus.
Avoid house cleaning that will disturb dust and mold, causing it to aerosolize
After your transplant, avoid walking, swimming, or playing in swimming pools, lakes, whirlpools, and hot tubs. It can lead to serious infection. Avoid drinking water from unsafe places such as some local shops or at someone’s home. Try only to drink pure boiled water and use filters at home.
It is advisable for the family members and the persons in contact to have vaccines which can prevent infections caused by touch or through respiratory ways. It will also be beneficial for the patients because he/she will be protected from infections.
India is known to be the cheapest and most successful of getting bone marrow transplants. Here, there is an 80% – 90% probability of cure, with 5% mortality rate and 10% chance of rejection as per medical practitioners in India. As discussed earlier, these rejections are made because some patients have infections and their transplant has to be postponed due to that. Indian Hospitals with highly skilled and reputed team of doctors are performing very well in Bone marrow Transplant procedures. Hospitals such as Apollo, Fortis, SL Raheja & CMC are helping large number of patients with diseases related to bone marrow. These hospitals are being awarded and appreciated for their contribution in this specific field. This is the reason why many foreign patients from all around the globe choose to get bone marrow transplant done in India. For more details and types of BMT you can refer this link- https://www.letshelpsome1.org/haploidentical-vs-matched-unrelated-donors-mud/
The average cost of getting Bone Marrow Transplant done in India is approx. Rs. 10 Lakhs to Rs. 30 Lakhs. The treatments provided here are less costly compared to other countries and the hospital provides all the facilities at a cheaper price.
There are many cheap options available like bone marrow transplantation cost in Tata memorial hospital is very low. Also there are several NGO’s working for this cause from which the patients can seek help. PM National Fund is an effective option for gathering the required funds for getting BMT done.
As explained earlier there are many different ways to collect fund for the bone marrow transplant but there are some specific organizations which help in gathering funds by doing crowd funding (i.e. getting donations from large number of people on a specific platform for a reasonable cause). One can start his/her own fund raiser by telling about the needs & requirement to the persons who are ready to donate. Below are some websites of the organizations that work for the same. You can visit these websites below for further references:-
https://milaap.org/ & https://www.ketto.org/
This is also a very effective funding option, available for the patients that are suffering from thalassemia. The PM’s fund is specifically made to provide immediate relief to the persons suffering from natural calamities but every year they provide a part of total funds for providing relief in such causes. Applicants can apply for financial assistance through an application form addressed to the Prime Minister. There are a number of requirements that have to be filled by the applicant in the form. Once filled it can be submitted to the PM’s office or can be sent over post. Applicants can also fill the form online. For online application form, please visit the website below: –
There are also some criteria that are laid down for sanctioning grants like: –
Annual family income up to Rs.1.00,000/
Treatment in Private hospitals are not covered
Government employees are not provided with this financial aid.
For any more details on this, please visit the website below: –