World Thalassemia Day: How to take care of your child with Thalassemia?

Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder in which there is a defect in hemoglobin or blood production leading to anemia. If both parents are thalassemia carriers There is a 25% chance that the child will have significant thalassemia. This will require regular and frequent blood transfusions throughout life. starting at the age of 6 months in children with this disease senior hematologist said World Thalassemia Day takes place on May 8 every year to raise awareness about the disease.

To raise awareness among parents of children with thalassemia how to prevent the spread of thalassemia in their children, Health Shots asked Dr. Anupam Sharma, a consultant hematologist at Fortis Hospital, Noida on tips for taking care of children with thalassemia

thalassemia in children
Thalassemia affects more than 12,000 children every year in India. Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to take care of thalassemia children?

Thalassemia is a common disease in children. Here are some ways to protect and care for your children:

1. Understand the importance of regular blood transfusions.

Parents of critical thalassemia children need to recognize the importance of regular blood transfusions to keep the pre-transfusion hemoglobin target above 8-9 grams per deciliter (gm/dl). Necessary for normal growth and development of children However, frequent blood transfusions can cause iron buildup in the body to the point of toxicity to vital organs. Therefore, regular follow-up and monitoring of iron levels is recommended. Medications that remove excess iron from the body and follow-up according to OPD should be given regularly under the supervision and supervision of a hematologist.

2. Avoid foods that are high in iron.

Thalassemia patients should avoid eating unnecessary iron-rich foods or supplements. Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is the only treatment option that has a high success rate of 85% and can heal patients and families, thus avoiding the lifelong suffering and health problems associated with blood transfusions. regular

3. Siblings of thalassemia patients should be examined.

If there is another sibling who is a normal carrier or thalassemia, HLA should be tested to match the patient. It’s not a blood type matching test. And even siblings with different blood types have a chance to get the perfect HLA matched to the patient.

All major thalassemia patients should receive BMT as the first line of treatment, and HLA types should be paired with siblings, if available. Implantation outcomes are better for younger children as complications are less. at a younger age

Here’s how to care for a child with thalassemia. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

In the absence of a perfectly matched sibling donor The option of using half-related donors or perfectly matched unrelated donors for stem cell donation and BMT can be made and should be considered taking into account long-term outcomes and associated complications. Routine blood transfusions and iron toxicity

Take away

It should be emphasized that all thalassemia children deserve better opportunities. Bone marrow transplantation should be offered as an early option for all major thalassemia patients. There are several thalassemia support associations and transplant grants such as Coal India that provide financial support and funds for BMT to these children.

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