World Thalassemia Day: Thalassemic Ansh’s Remarkable Journey Without Blood Transfusions for Two and a Half Years

The management of major thalassemia poses significant difficulties, often accompanied by financial burdens and occasional disappointments. Attempting to maintain normal hemoglobin levels by frequent iron infusions is essential for prolonging life and ensuring the normal growth and development of children. 

However, due to the quest for medications that maintain balanced iron levels in the blood, a 14-year-old from Bhuj has not required iron bottle infusions for the past two and a half years.

Challenges of Thalassemia Treatment: Seeking Alternatives to Iron Infusions

Thalassemia patients often require regular iron infusions to counter the significant increase in iron levels in the body, a consequence of frequent blood transfusions. To mitigate this iron overload, patients must endure nightly injections administered through a pump. 

Efforts are underway to discover medications that could replace these injections with oral alternatives, reducing the burden on patients.

Thalidomide and Hydroxyurea: A Breakthrough in Iron Regulation

Thalidomide and hydroxyurea have proven to effectively regulate iron levels in the blood. Sachin Thakkar, discussing his son Ansh’s journey with thalassemia since 2008, reveals the ordeal of needing iron infusions every 15 to 20 days for 12 years following the diagnosis. The lack of immune response and escalating iron levels were constant concerns. 

However, a breakthrough came over eight years ago when Dr. Nishant from Rajkot introduced a medication combination in pill form. Since then, Ansh has not required a single iron infusion, marking a significant improvement in his quality of life.

Bone Marrow Transplant: A Last Resort for Inherited Diseases

Inherited diseases like thalassemia often necessitate a bone marrow transplant as the sole solution, typically requiring a match from siblings. It’s noted that in Kutch, out of over 350 children affected by this disease, approximately 180 are undergoing treatment. 

The General Hospital in Bhuj, under Rotli, has established an effective system for iron infusions for thalassemic patients. The results of this treatment have been consistently positive day by day. 

Ansh’s mother suggests organizing blood donation drives on their birthdays each year, and collecting iron-rich blood at the General Hospital, ensuring that those in need can benefit from it.

Anusha Aggarwal

My name is Anusha Aggarwal. With a deep fascination for the science behind health, hair care, skin care, and body care, I'm a dedicated writer committed to helping readers achieve optimal wellness. Through years of research and personal experience, I provide expert insights into the latest trends and techniques in the beauty and wellness.