2-month-old ‘bubble baby’ gets bone marrow transplant | India News

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MUMBAI: A two-month-old girl with bubble baby syndrome has become one of the youngest patients in the country to undergo a bone marrow transplant (BMT) from an unrelated donor.
The child, Anisha Bandekar, was brought from Karwar, Karnataka, to Parel’s Wadia Hospital when she was 19 days old and underwent BMT within the next two months.
‘Bubble babies’, who suffer from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), are born without an immune system that makes every slight infection a life-threatening one.
“In a short while, we managed to get several stem cell matches from donor registries and could carry out a BMT to help Anisha recover,” said Dr Prashant Hiwarkar, who heads the BMT department at Wadia Hospital. He said bubble babies rarely get the diagnosis in time. “They usually come at a very late stage, but in Anisha’s case, timely advice from doctors in Karwar and Mangalore helped,” he said.

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Anisha’s parents had a child who succumbed at 11 months of age after suffering several bouts of infection. “After her death, doctors told us that if we have another child, we should immediately conduct a few tests,” said Geetesh Bandekar, a civic contractor from Karwar. The tests revealed she had SCID, prompting the doctors to refer her to Wadia Hospital.
Anisha, who underwent BMT on November 9, was discharged from hospital four days ago, but the family will stay in Mumbai for another six months. Wadia Hospital CEO Dr Minnie Bodhanwala said, “This is one of the youngest transplant patients in the country to receive stem cells from a volunteer donor. Her case underlies the importance of early diagnosis and the collaborative efforts of medical professionals and bone marrow donor registries.”
Haematologist Dr Mukesh Desai from Nanavati Hospital, Vile Parle, said, “Many BMT centres have come up across India in the recent years, but more needs to be done.”


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