The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has started an online voluntary rare group blood bank, where a list of all rare blood groups will be displayed.
IMA has appealed to all its 2.5 lakh doctor members and their patients with rare blood groups, especially the Bombay blood group to pass on their names, addresses, email and mobile numbers so that the same can be uploaded on the IMA website. They can also log in directly and submit the information at IMA website http://www.ima-india.org/rare/ under section IMA e-connect.
A rare blood is one, on the basis of the blood group characteristics, which is found in a frequency of 1: 1000 random samples in a given population. From blood transfusion point of view, a rare blood is the one with red cells lacking a high-frequency blood group antigen. Blood that lacks multiple common antigens may also be considered as rare since such donor’s blood may be useful for the transfusion recipient who has developed multiple antibodies to corresponding antigen.
Rare nature of a blood type may vary from one country to another and therefore a blood type rare in one country may not be considered rare in another. The commonest rare blood group in India is Bombay blood group. The Bombay phenotype is found almost exclusively in individuals from India, with an incidence of 1/10,000. These patients are universal (ABO) donors.
For detection, tests would show them to be O, unless further tests are performed. Cross matching of blood from an individual with this phenotype will show hemolysis with all group O screening cells and panel cells, alerting the blood bank to the need for further investigation.
If an individual with the Bombay phenotype needs blood in an acute emergency and blood from a Bombay phenotype donor is not available, then the following options may be considered.
*Look up the IMA website for potential donor in that city
*Get blood group test done of all your relatives; one of them may be Bombay Blood Group.
*Artificial blood could be used instead.
*Autologous blood can be obtained by apheresis prior to a surgical procedure
Other IMA guidelines
*Defer blood donation if hemoglobin is less than 12.5 g/dL for both men and women, temperature is above 37.5°C, blood pressure is above 180 mmHg systolic or 100 mmHg diastolic, pulse is outside the established limits of 50 to 100 beats/minute, certain arrhythmias are detected on pulse examination, and if a systemic disease is present.
*Consider oral iron supplementation for certain groups of donors (premenopausal females, frequent repeat donors).
*To minimize post-donation reactions, restrict donation to less than 15 percent of a donor’s estimated blood volume (for younger donors, estimated blood volume must be >3500 mL in order to be accepted for donation), encourage applied muscle tension during donation, provide 500 mL of water before donation, make sure the donor feels well before being allowed to walk to the refreshment table and encourage the donor to stay at the table for at least 10 to 15 minutes for observation and fluid replenishment.