The University of Benin Teaching Hospital has again demonstrated its resolve to bring succor to sickle cell clients as the department of Haematology successfully carried out total red blood replacement for a client.
The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, prof. M.O Ibadin stated that the feat was recorded through the collaboration of university of Bazel Switzerland, the technical partner in the stem cell transplant project by providing the machine called Cobe Spectra used in drawing the blood through one arm and replace it through another arm simultaneously. According to the Chief Medical Director this newsworthy achievement needed to be shared with the public. He said as adult, we have six litres of blood which is divided into two, one is liquid the other part are cells. The cells are of different types, some are red, which make the blood red and for sickle cell anemia the problem is located in the red blood cell for those of them that live long enough and may have major challenges like stroke, some of them can affect the brain and other parts of the body the good news is that we have achieved a total replacement of the red blood cells in an individual who is alive and here with us today.
Also, Dr. N Bazuaye Consultant Haematologist, leader of stem cell transplant unit stated that “what we do is to remove the entire blood from the body through one arm and put in fresh blood from the other arm”. The machine does not cause discomfort as it is taking away blood from one part it is being replaced immediately from the other arm and can also be done for children without harm.
Dr. Bazuaye noted that the procedure was successfully performed for the first time in Sub-Sahara Africa for a 27 years old client and friend of the department who is masters degree student in one of the Universities. He had had several crisis, we removed almost five litres of blood from him and replaced them immediately. It has stopped his pain and crises and this will relieve the client for a long time. He pointed that in Europe some people do the procedure twice a year.
He also stated that the 27 years old patient was fortunate enough to have his friends and course mates who donated blood for the replacement for him. He enjoined Nigerians voluntarily donate blood as Nigerians have the highest prevalence of sickle cell sufferers in the world with three percent of them carrying the sickle cell in them.
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