World Thalassemia Day was observed on Monday to raise awareness about the genetic disease. The blood disease is caused by genetic defects in the patient’s body that result in the production of an abnormal form of haemoglobin.
International Thalassemia Day is observed on 8th of May every year to increase the awareness about this disease, preventive steps and measures to avoid its transmission.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder
It disrupts the normal production of hemoglobin and healthy red blood cells
Low hemoglobin and fewer red blood cells cause anemia
Life of a red blood cell is much shorter than a normal life of 120 days, in a Thalassemia Major
Blood transfusion is required after every 2 to 4 weeks, throughout life
Iron chelation Therapy is required to extract extra iron
SYMPTOMS OF THALASSEMIA MAJOR
Enlarged liver and spleen
Loss of appetite
Thalassemia Minor or Carrier are normal and usually have no symptoms. However, Symptoms in thalassemia major occur within six months after birth.
THALASSEMIA MAJOR: COMPLICATIONS
Risk of transfusion transmitted infections like HIV,
Hepatitis B & C
Risk of Liver or Heart failure
Testing for Thalassemia carrier status before marriage or conception
Get blood tested for HbA2 / Hb Electrophoresis / Hb HPLC, if planning a child
If both, husband and wife are normal then no precaution is required
If one is thalassemia carrier, the partner should not be a carrier
If both are carrier then antenatal diagnosis for thalassemia may be done at 8 till 10 weeks of pregnancy
Knowing your thalassemia status before marriage, Getting the thalassemia testing done before conception and thalassemia screening in the pregnant mothers may help to prevent thalassemia.