A Rare Blood Type and an Operation: KMC Doctors Perform First Bloodless Surgery
MANIPAL: Dr. Kiran Acharya, a professor of orthopaedics, and his team at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, performed a blood less surgery, on what could possibly be the first case of a ‘pp’ blood group or ‘P null’ phenotype patient being identified in India, earlier this summer.
The Blood Bank at Kasturba Hospital received samples from the patient who required urgent blood transfusion after a femur fracture and an open wound. The doctors, however, were unable to find a compatible blood unit even after cross-matching with more than 80 units. Dr. Shamee Shastry, Head of the Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion, along with her team identified the very rare blood group, lacking high frequency antigen or multiple common antigens.
In such a situation, Dr. Acharya then proceeded to perform the surgery after increasing the patient’s haemoglobin artificially to the desired levels and stimulating the body’s own process called erythropoiesis to produce red blood cells.
Regarding any apparent apprehension during the procedure and its risks, he stated that his team was confident in their abilities to be able to perform the surgery successfully. He further added that such surgeries are common among a few sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses among others, who do not accept blood transfusions, and that it was imperative to be familiarised and trained to perform such procedures.
At present, the patient has made a full recovery and is due for a follow up check this week to have an open wound examined that took a considerably longer time to heal. The cost involved in the procedure was approximately the same as any other normal surgery.
Dr. Acharya feels that this successful surgery has not added to his accomplishments in anyway. He insists that it was indeed a very normal surgery and emphasised on the importance for doctors to be accustomed to dealing with unique cases like these no matter what, without any fear whatsoever, citing various examples of indigenous groups across the country with unique conditions and treatment needs. He firmly believes that one should be mentally prepared for the challenges in life.
With inputs from Anwesha Mukherjee
Featured Image Courtesy: Aditya Mathur
Edited by: Niharika Nambiar