Pune man donates stem cells to aid 2-yr-old thalassemia patient

Sruthi Darbhamulla
Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The donation procedure, which lasted for four hours, took place on June 21 at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Blood bank.

Pune: Nilesh Jagtap, an employee of ThyssenKrupp Industries India Pvt Ltd, donated his stem cells to aid the treatment of a 2-year-old girl suffering from thalassemia major after a rare match of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) types.

The possibility of a donor-recipient match is a mere one-in-20 lakh. The donation procedure, which lasted for four hours, took place on June 21 at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Blood bank.

Highlighting the need to educate people about this form of donation, Dr Joshi said, “In India, awareness about the stem cell registry and donation is limited to the relatives of persons suffering from a disease like thalassemia or types of cancer that require stem cell therapy. But with such a big population, the chances of obtaining matching donors are very high.”

Shedding light on the procedure, Dr Joshi said, “It is very difficult to find a match but in this case, it was a 10 on 10 match. If a match is obtained from the registry, the donor is contacted and asked if he is willing to donate stem cells. If he agrees, then after a thorough medical check-up, five injections are given to the patient to draw the stem cells out from the bone marrow into the blood stream. Then the stem cells are extracted using a machine in a manner similar to platelet extraction. Post extraction, the stem cells are sent over to the recipient centre. Transplant generally happens within two days after donation.”  

The procedure was carried out in the presence of Deenanath Mangeshkar blood bank’s Dr Ketkar, as well as Joshi, ThyssenKrupp Union chairman Anil Godse, Treasurer Anil Kate and senior employee Kisan Gaikwad. Nilesh Jagtap and his wife were felicitated by the company post the donation procedure.

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