Mumbai News

Parel donor helps 94-year-old with rare Bombay blood group – Times of India

MUMBAI: When a 94-year-old patient with abdominal pain and fever was brought to Hindu Mahasaheb Hospital, Ghatkopar, last week, the first suspicion was Covid-19, but doctors soon realised he had a non-Covid complication: gangrene in his gallbladder.
“The gallbladder had to be removed immediately, but we then hit another roadblock. He had a rare blood group called the Bombay blood group which barely a few hundred people across the country have,” said laparscopic surgeon, Dr Dnyanesh Gawankar. He called Vinay Shetty of NGO Think Foundation in order to find an appropriate donor.
Mahesh Ghag, a 49-yearold Parel resident, is no stranger to panic calls requiring him to donate blood. “I have known since 1991 that I have the Bombay blood group and I get such calls three to four times a year,” he said. But Covid posed a problem. “I was stopped by the police while trying to reach a blood bank in Bandra that had agreed to collect my blood, conduct tests and send it to the Ghatkopar hospital,” he said. It took him 15 minutes to convince the policemen about his intention.
“The main thing is Ghag donated blood that reached us by 4 pm and we could give it to the patient,” said Dr Gawankar. The patient is recovering well, he added. Shetty said, “The incident underlines the fact that it is not harmful or unsafe to donate blood if safety precautions are taken vis-a-vis Covid.”

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