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'Demand outstrips availability in bone marrow transplants'

Posted on Dec 19, 12:50PM | IANS

There is a severe crunch in bone marrow transplants in India, a doctor said Tuesday, adding that nearly 30,000 patients suffering from thalassemia, leukemia and multiple myeloma need transplants annualy but only 700 are able to get it.

"Out of 30 to 40,000 who need a bone marrow transplantation in the country, only 700 are done. Many suffering from congenital, genetic and acquired disorders like thalassemia, leukemia and multiple myeloma rely on blood transfusion, which is a temporary solution," said Dharma Choudhary, director, bone marrow transplant (BMT), BLK Hospital.

In BMT procedure, the diseased or damaged bone marrow (a soft, spongy blood forming tissue present in the cavities of bones) is replaced with healthy bone marrow with the replacement marrow mostly from blood relations like siblings and parents.

Doctors also stressed that more awareness on the bone marrow transplant is needed.

"The BLK Hospital alone has performed 104 bone marrow transplants in past two years. We are the only private hospital who have performed more BMT than any other private hospitals. Only eight hospitals in Delhi are equipped to perform such surgeries," said Praneet Kumar, CEO, Radiant Life Care Private Limited.