Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder. People with Thalassemia disease are not able to make enough hemoglobin, which causes severe anemia. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells and carries oxygen to all parts of the body. When there is not enough hemoglobin in the red blood cells, oxygen cannot get to all parts of the body. Organs then become starved for oxygen and are unable to function properly.
There are two main types of Alpha Thalassemia disease. Alpha Thalassemia Major is a very serious disease in which severe anemia begins even before birth. Pregnant women carrying affected fetuses are themselves at risk for serious pregnancy and delivery complications. Another type of Alpha Thalassemia is Hemoglobin H disease. There are varying degrees of Hemoglobin H disease.
Thalassemia is a complex group of diseases that are relatively rare in the United States but common in Mediterranean regions and South and Southeast Asia. Worldwide, there are 350,000 births per year with serious hemoglobinopathies (blood disorders). In the United States, as a consequence of immigration patterns, occurrence of thalassemia disorders is increasing.
The thalassemias are a diverse group of genetic blood diseases characterized by absent or decreased production of normal hemoglobin, resulting in a microcytic anemia of varying degree. The thalassemias have a distribution concomitant with areas where P. falciparum malaria is common. The alpha thalassemias are concentrated in Southeast Asia, Malaysia, and southern China. The beta thalassemias are seen primarily in the areas surrounding Mediterranean Sea, Africa and Southeast Asia. Due to global migration patterns, there has been an increase in the incidence of thalassemia in North America in the last ten years, primarily due to immigration from Southeast Asia.
Thalassemia patients need blood transfusions on regular basis for survival.
Regular blood transfusions provide thalassemia patients with the red blood cells they need to survive. Once these red blood cells are broken down, however, the body is left with an excess of iron
Nowadays, drugs designed to remove excess iron (iron chelators) have significantly changed the prognosis of thalassemia major. Patients can grow and develop normally, with relatively normal heart and liver functions. Adult patients are living well and some have children of their own. Medical advances continue and promise to improve the life expectancy and quality of life further for those living with thalassemia.
A healthy person can donate blood 3 or 4 times in an year for thalassemia patients.
Blood banks need blood on large extent in order to fulfill the needs of Thalassemia patients…
If you are a strong and healthy person then Blood donation on regular basis could be the greatest donation by you.