‘People with rare blood groups must register with blood banks’

May 26, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:39 am IST - COIMBATORE:

Parvathi (37), a resident of Pappanaickenpalayam here, is caught in a piquant situation.

She suspects that she might have ovarian tumour and is now undergoing medical tests at the Gynaecology Out-patient Ward of Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH). If the tests confirm her worst fears, then she might have to undergo a surgery.

However, that poses a complication as she has ‘Oh’ or the Bombay Blood Group, a blood type so rare that only four in ten lakh population belong to it. In fact, none of her immediate family members share her blood group, which is not the case normally.

In case of an emergency such as excessive bleeding during surgery, the hospital has only Fresh Frozen Plasma but not the packed RBC (red blood cells).

Frozen Plasma will only expand the volume of blood but it is the Packed RBC that will improve haemoglobin levels, which will boost the chances of patient’s survival.

Pandiammal (47) of Tirupur, also faces the same quandary. She is also undergoing tests at Gynaecology OP and has Bombay Blood Group.

CMCH Dean A. Edwin Joe told The Hindu that people with rare blood groups must come forward and register themselves with the blood banks.

In cases of emergencies such as child delivery or road traffic accidents, the patients will have just a matter of hours to get blood transfusion.


A. Mangayarkarasi, Medical Officer of the CMCH Blood Bank, says there are just 14 registered donors with Bombay Blood Group in all the zones of Coimbatore, Madurai, Dharmapuri and Salem put together.

Further, in the past half a decade, there had been only ten donors or patients who had come to CMCH with this blood group.

There is no nation-wide registry exclusively for people with such rare blood groups. As such, she says the people with rare blood groups must come forward voluntarily to form donor groups or register with blood banks.

There is no nation-wide registry exclusively for people with such rare blood groups

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