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Risky surgery on patient with rare blood type

 GUWAHATI, July 31 - A team of GNRC doctors led by chief cardiac surgeon Dr Sunil Dawka successfully operated upon a patient with a rare blood type with small E-Rh antigen in blood that made blood transfusions nearly impossible and could lead to severe hemolytic transfusion reactions.

The patient, hailing from Dibrugarh, had visited hospitals in Chennai with heart problems in May. He was diagnosed with critical coronary artery disease and was advised coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). However, the surgery could not be performed. Non-availability of compatible blood forced him to return home.

After unsuccessful attempts to arrange compatible blood, the patient’s family contacted GNRC Hospital’s CVTS department. After proper planning by the blood bank officer of GNRC Hospitals, Dr Shabnam Ahmed, in cooperation with blood bank officer of Apollo Hospitals Guwahati, Dr Deepa Bhuyan, several units of blood were screened to arrange one compatible blood unit over a period of six weeks. Besides, two more units of autologous blood were prepared from the patient himself.

Commenting on the surgery, Dr Dawka said, “Since the probability of finding E Antigen negative red cells in general population is less than 1 per cent and requires detailed red cell phenotyping and cross matching, we decided to use the patient himself as the blood donor by building his haemoglobin up over a period of 6 to 8 weeks in consultation with a haematologist. The patient underwent successful beating heart coronary bypass surgery and received all the three units of arranged blood in the post-operative period to keep his haemoglobin levels in the normal range.”

Dr Dawka was assisted by cardiac anaesthesiologist Dr Prasanta Borah, Dr Jyotirmoy Das and Dr Kalpajit Dutta along with cardiac perfusionist Krishnakant Trivedi.

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