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Different blood groups can save lives, ABOI Kidney transplant is the solution

Contributed by Dr.Deepak Kumar Chitralli, Consultant Nephrology,  Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur

Technology has paved ways to develop the world around us. This advancement has not only provided us with ways to connect to people in a fast and better way, but it did give us different ways to cure medical issues which was not easy few years ago. Human kind has crossed so many barriers in the field of medicine that we have found cure for the rarest of the diseases.

This advancement in the field of medicine has made surgeries and transplants more accessible and lifesaving. Kidney transplantation is one such advancement that has saved many lives in the past and is saving lives for those with different blood groups too.

A kidney transplantation is a surgical process where a kidney from a healthy donor is taken and transplanted to the person suffering with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). ESRD is a medical condition where the kidney ceases functioning permanently, leading to dialysis on a regular basis. The process of transplantation puts the patient away from the pain that they take during the process of dialysis.

As per the recent study, approximately 152 million people suffer from end stage renal disease (ESRD). Most of them suffering from ESRD are suggested with kidney transplantation, which is the most effective way to cure this disease, giving the person a new lease of life. But due to the shortage of organs, more than 30% of the patients dealing with ESRD wait for a compatible renal transplant.

Various strategies have been employed to increase the living donor pool such as swap kidney transplants, ABO incompatible kidney transplant (ABOiKT) and deceased donor transplants, among which ABOiKT has emerged as a viable option to overcome the shortage of organs which increased the chance of transplants by 30%.

ABO-incompatible (ABOi) renal transplant is the only option for patients who have neither blood group-compatible donors nor a suitable swap available. ABOiKT is opted irrespective of the different blood groups the donor or the recipients have.

When an organ is transplanted from one person to another, then the body undergoes a process called Iso-agglutinin. Where antigens mix with their corresponding antibodies leading to clumping of blood particles. Removal of these antibodies and bringing down the levels to an acceptable point and maintaining the same level, post the transplant is the method opted for a successful transplant of kidney with different blood groups.

Even though there are many other countries that have adopted this procedure, In India this method of transplant has paved its path only after 2009, and since then only few centres in India had the capacity to understand the complexity of this type of transplant and perform it successfully. Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore is one such centre which has performed such transplants in India, successfully.

ABOI kidney transplant is one of those examples which can be spoken about when technology and its advancements are discussed. The possibility of turning one of the most unsuccessful procedures into the most happening is the near future, when it comes to technological advancements in the field of medicine.

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