World Thalassemia Day 2019: All you need to know about the blood disorder
Thalassemia is a blood disorder which comprises of a lack of hemoglobin and blood cells in the body, lower than the normal count. A mellow thalassemia doesn’t require any treatment but if it’s serious, blood transfusions are needed by the patient. It is an inherited disorder which results in anemia.
To create more awareness about the disease, and pay respect to the patients suffering from the disorder, their families, and the doctors working towards curing the disease, World Thalassemia Day is celebrated each year on the 8th of May. The Thalassemia International Federation, a non-profit organization formed by Thalassemia patients and parents, set the theme for this year which is focused one specific aspect, “Universal access to quality thalassemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for patients.”
On this day, we want to give you a brief overview about all the important facets of thalassemia which will help you understand the disorder and take the appropriate steps if anyone is suffering from the same.
The causality and symptoms:
It is an inherited disorder which is passed from the parents to the offspring via the genes. The child with thalassemia might not show the any other symptoms apart from mild anemia. There are three types of thalassemia syndromes which comprise of their own set of symptoms:
- Thalassemia Trait/Minor: Patients suffering from this stage only shows mild anemia
- thalassemia intermedia: Patients at this stage might have an overwhelming level of iron in the blood. They require blood transfusion and take the appropriate medicines
- Thalassemia Major: At this stage, patients not only have large amounts of iron in their blood, but also suffer from severe anemia. Regular transfusions along with a bone marrow transplant might be required
Immediate recovery steps must be taken if anyone shows the following symptoms:
- Yellow and dull skin
- Facial bone impairments
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Dark color of the urine
- Diminished growth
Special blood tests are done to diagnose the disorder while a normal blood test will only reveal the stage of anemia. These special tests can identify the abnormal hemoglobin chains in the blood. In the case, if the patient is less than one year, these blood tests might be required to be conducted after the infant grows older.
Patients who are suffering from a thalassemia major need regular blood transfusion procedures along and a constant monitoring of the iron levels in the blood. The most unfortunate aspect of thalassemia is that it can’t be prevented. Parents who have thalassemia genes should consult a genetic counselor before trying to have a child.
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