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Beta Thalassaemia Major

Q: Our first child has been detected with Beta Thalassaemia major. He is 7 months old now. We are doing the regular transfusions at the St Johns Hospital, Bangalore. I have the following queries regarding bone marrow / stem cell transplant
1. What is the probability of our next child of getting affected?
2. Will a carrier child be able to give bone marrow?
3. What is the probability of the HLA matching between the siblings and If our next child is perfect / carrier what is the probability of HLA matching?
4. What is the survival rate of the Bone marrow / stem cell transplant?

A:1. There is 1 in 4 chance in every pregnancy of a child having Thalassaemia major, 1 in 2 chance in every pregnancy of a child having Thalassaemia trait and 1 in 4 chance in every pregnancy of a child being normal. 2. Yes, a carrier child can be a donor. 3. The probability is much higher than in unrelated donors. 4. This is largely dependant on the centre where BMT is done and the experience of the team. CMC Vellore has a very good BMT program for Thalassemics and you should get in touch with Prof. Mammen Chandy there.

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