Jun 20, 2016

    Bangladeshi with rare blood gets lifeline from India


    FOUR pints of the rare "Bombay blood group" reached Dhaka from Mumbai on Saturday to save the life of a Bangladeshi man who had a road accident and is waiting for a life-saving surgery.

    Four people from Mumbai, the financial hub of India, have come to the rescue of Mohammed Kamruzzaman who needs the blood for an urgent surgery to treat multiple fractures, an Indian daily reported.

    The blood reached Apollo Hospitals in Dhaka and the patient was to receive his first pint of blood yesterday and is expected to have surgery today, Akter Jamil Ahmed, deputy general manager of the hospital, told The Daily Star.

    Kamruzzaman, 25, had met with an accident in Dhaka on May 21. Doctors found that his blood group was incompatible with most common types.

    They noted he had the rare Bombay blood group that even leading blood banks in Bangladesh were unaware of.

    In India, where a robust blood distribution network exists, less than 400 people are known to have the Bombay blood group, a few of whom are active traceable donors.

    A frantic online and offline search led them to Vinay Shetty of the Mumbai-based NGO Think Foundation.

    SK Tuhinur Alam, one of Mr Kamruzzaman's colleagues, brought the blood from Mumbai around 11am on Saturday.

    "We had given up hope that he will live. The bones of his left leg and hand are shattered. His pelvis is broken too.

    "Doctors told us that only surgery could guarantee his complete recovery," Mr Alam said. "We searched up and down the city (Dhaka) and called up uncountable number of hospitals and blood banks but most had never heard of this blood group.

    "The hospital decided to test his family members and found his sister having the same group.

    "But she was not fit to donate.

    "Our employer, Arinoba Plastic Industries, facilitated this inter-country coordination after learning that Mr Kamruzzaman was the main breadwinner of the family and his ailing mother's treatment was dependent on his earnings.

    "India is not saving just one life, but an entire family," he added.

    It has been an uphill task for the NGO to get the authorities to allow the export of blood, which is permitted only under special circumstances.