An unexpected challenge for the doctors of MCHK, where they were just getting ready for a teenager’s bone marrow transplant, the latter was later diagnosed by chickenpox, last month at Medical College Hospital Kolkata.
Leaving the transplant as it was for the rather uninvited chickenpox in a teenager body would mean for the patient to die as his bone marrow was completely destroyed before. The hospital authorities rushed with a team of experts from other hospitals for a thriving session.
Ashik Farhad Molla was a Class 10 student from Jibantala in North 24 Parganas and was detected with aplastic anaemia last November. He needed a regular blood and platelet transfusions for which he had miss his Madhyamik examination and get admitted in hospital due to infections.
Doctors found a matching donor for Ashik’s transplant from his 11-year-old brother Abar Hasan. The siblings were admitted in the hospital in mid-April and the transplant team soon started the chemo process to destroy Ashik’s bone marrow to get him ready to receive healthy stem cells.
The second day of the transplant had a suprising twist when the patient got diagnosed with chickenpox just before he was being prepared for the transplant. “At this point we could not retract from the transplant. We kept searching medical literature and found no material that could help us. While we couldn’t defer the procedure, how to proceed in view of the risk was a huge challenge,” said IHTM head Maitryee Bhattacharya.
The experts concurred that the transplant procedure ought to be performed despite its hazards. It was agreed to administer antiviral medications to the donor, perform the transplant, and then administer antiviral medications to the receiver. Ashik didn’t need a blood transfusion after the transplant. He was released on Monday when his haemoglobin, WBC, and platelet levels returned to normal.
“We had to take the risk of going beyond norms. We are happy that we could finally send the boy back home in good condition,” said Bhattacharya.