Four units of the rare Bombay blood group will be sent to Bangladesh to save the life of a Bangladeshi accident victim waiting to undergo a life-saving surgery in Dhaka, on Saturday .
Four Mumbaikars came to the rescue of Mohammed Kamruzzaman, the victim, who needs blood for an urgent surgery to treat multiple fractures.
According to The Times of India, the 25-year-old had met with a road accident in Dhaka on 21 May and was taken to the local Apollo Hospital for treatment. Upon investigations, the doctors found that he had the rare Bombay blood group that even leading banks in Bangladesh were unaware of.
In India, less than 400 people are known to have the Bombay blood group, of whom few are active traceable donors. A frantic online and offline search led them to Vinay Shetty of the city-based NGO, Think Foundation.
The four donors - Swapna Sawant, Krishnanand Kori, Mehul Bhelekar and Pravin Shinde - donated blood, which was collected by SK Tuhinur Alam, one of Kamruzzaman's colleagues, who reached Mumbai on Thursday to collect the precious units.
"We had given up hope that he will live. The bones of his left leg and hand are shattered. His pelvis too is broken. Doctors told us only surgery could guarantee his complete recovery," Alam told TOI on Friday .
He added, "We searched up and down the city (Dhaka) and called up numerous hospitals and blood banks, but most had never heard of this blood group. The hospital decided to test his family members and found his sister had the same group. But she was not fit to donate. Our employer, Arinoba Plastic Industries, facilitated this inter-country coordination after learning that Kamruzzaman was the main bread winner of the family and his ailing mother's treatment was dependent on his earnings. In a way, India is not saving just one life, but an entire family."
It has been an uphill task for the NGO to get multiple authorities to allow the export of blood, which is only permitted under special circumstances. "We had to seek many permissions as export is permitted only under license. We got approvals from the State Blood Transfusion Council, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, Directorate of Health Services and Central Industrial Security Force that mans airport security," Shetty said.
The blood units will be transported in a special plastic box with ice gel packs. "Blood has a long shelf life, of about six weeks. Temperature control is key," he said.