30-12-2017 06:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Donating blood without knowing that it was very rare
Bombay blood group is a very rare blood group believed to exist in only 0.0004% of the global population. In India, one in 10,000-17,000 people has this group. Such individuals can only be transfused with similar blood.
Aditya Hegde, 34, a Bengalurean has donated blood more than 55 times, but he didn’t know that his blood group was very rare until 2003. He was in news recently for saving a pregnant woman in Chennai by donating blood.
Hegde grew up in Hubballi, where he joined donation drives in college. That is how he realized that he is O negative( universal donor).He then registered himself with NGOs and organizations that'd routinely conduct blood donation drives. It was only in 2003 when he went for a blood test that he was told he had the rare Bombay blood group. He then networked with blood banks and became a regular donor.
People with Bombay blood group lack H antigen in their red blood cells. As this group doesn't have either A or B antigen, it is usually read as group O. It's only when a specific test for H antigen is done that one can differentiate between O and Bombay blood group.
Hegde said that nowadays, with the help of social media, it has become easier to know about requirements and reach out to those in need. He remembers helping an 80-year-old woman suffering from a heart ailment at a private hospital and a pregnant woman among many others. He has also donated blood to foreigners.
Whenever Hegde donates blood, he relates to the small network of people having this rare group and feels a sense of belonging. He also encourages his recipients to register himself/herself with the group of Bombay blood donors.Hedge, who is now working towards starting his own company, donates once in three months or depending on requests.