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July 18, 2019

2,800 blood cancer patients getting treatment


July 18, 2019

Islamabad: The Children Hospital at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has been providing treatment to as many as 1,900 patients of thalassemia patients while over 900 patients with haemophilia are registered with the hospital for treatment.

PIMS Children Hospital is treating a number of patients with complicated diseases and conditions including patients suffering from thalassemia and haemophilia, said Deputy Director at PIMS Dr. Waseem Ahmed Khawaja while talking to ‘The News’ on Tuesday.

He added the PIMS emergency departments for adults and children are providing treatment to patients suffering from thalassemia and haemophilia round the clock. Haemophilia patients up to 12 years of age are given treatment in children hospital and over 12 years of age are referred to adult department in PIMS, he said.

Thalassemia and haemophilia both are inherited genetic disorders which are termed as complicated conditions. If one has thalassemia, one’s body has fewer red blood cells and less haemoglobin as it should have. Haemoglobin is important because it lets your red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body.

Haemophilia impairs the body’s ability to make blood clots, a process needed to stop bleeding. This results in people bleeding longer after an injury, easy bruising, and an increased risk of bleeding inside joints or the brain.

According to Dr. Khawaja, a total of 1,900 patients suffering from thalassemia are having treatment in children hospital at PIMS. As many as 100 patients of thalassemia are given blood daily on average at the PIMS while 50 to 70 patients are given platelets and fresh frozen plasma. The PIMS Children Hospital has so far performed 130 bone marrow transplantations, he said.

Medically, the most common treatment for severe cases of thalassemia is regular blood transfusions to relieve the symptoms, which continue for life and have side-effects. The only cure currently available for thalassemia is a bone marrow transplant, which is only possible for a small proportion of patients.

Dr. Khawaja said the bone marrow transplantation is very much costly at private set-ups while the PIMS charges subsidised fee for the procedure and in most of the cases, Bait-ul-Mal provides charges for bone marrow transplantation.

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