Home Contacts Search Sitemap  
Logo Title
IntroductionManagementFuture PlansServicesPicture GalleryProjectsEvents
What is Thalassaemia Title

Thalassaemia is an inherited disorder in which there is an abnormality in one or more of the globin genes. To understand more about Thalassaemia you need to know a little about blood and about anaemia. Blood is made up of a lot of red cells in a clear, slightly yellow liquid called plasma. Red blood cell are produced constantly. Blood cells are replaced very quickly. That's why people can often give blood frequently.

The red in a persons blood contains a substance called Haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is very important because it carries oxygen from the lungs to where ever it is needed in the body. It also contains a lot of iron, and when red blood cells are broken down, most of the iron from the Haemoglobin is used again to make new Haemoglobin. People lose some iron from their bodes when urine is passed, this is compensated for when eating food which contains iron.

Forms of Thalassaemia

There are two forms of Thalassaemia.

Thalassaemia Major?

Thalassaemia major is sometimes known as Cooleys Anaemia, Homozygous, Bete Thalassaemia or Mediterranean Anaemia. Is a serious inherited childhood anaemia. Children with Thalassaemia major cannot make enough haemoglobin. Because of this, their bone marrow cannot produce enough red blood cells. The red blood cells that are produced are nearly empty.

Thalassaemia Minor?

People with Thalassaemia Minor, sometimes known as Trait, carry Thalassaemia but they are not ill. They are completely healthy and normal but some of them have slight anaemia. Most people with Thalassaemia Minor do not even know that they have it. It is only discovered if the person has a special blood test or if they have a child with Thalassaemia Major. It is important to know if you have Thalassaemia Minor later in life. The reason for this is that it may cause some problems if the person and their partner wants to start a family. Thalassaemia minors red blood cell are also different from normal blood cells.

Carriers of Thalassaemia

Who is likely to carry Thalassaemia?

People who are likely to carry the gene of Thalassaemia are people with Mediterranean descent, for example Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, India, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Middle East, Turkey and some parts of South East Asia.

Can Thalassaemia major patients also carry other illnesses?

Thalassaemia major patients can also carry other illnesses such as Sickle Cells, Diabetes, liver dis.-function, and other illness that non Thalassaemia people can get for example Cancer.

What known cause for Thalassamia?

There is not a known cause for Thalassaemia except that is inherited through the genes.

What are the Symptoms? Are they detected early in childhood?

Children with Thalassaemia major are normal at birth but become anaemic between the ages of three months and eighteen months. They become pale, do not sleep well, do not want to eat, and may vomit their feeds. If children with Thalassaemia major are not treated, they have miserable lives. They usually die between one and eight years old.

What is the "quality of life" for a Thalassaemic?

A chronic illness always causes some limitation of quality of life, especially when it requires frequent and complex treatment, as Thalassaemia does. The treatment should not interfere with a Thalassaemic's life. In particular doctors and hospitals should make the effort to arrange out-patient visits and visits for transfusions so they interfere as little as possible with normal life. Treatment should not interrupt schooling or work.

How long can a person with Thalassamia major live?

These days most Thalassaemics grow up to become adults, and earn their own living. Most also find a partner and get married. Now a number of Thalassaemia major patients have their own children.

It is very hard to know the answer for Thalassaemics who are well at present. The disorder and its influence are changing almost from day to day, because of advances in treatment. Thalassaemic patients are now living longer. Today it is reasonable to think that people with Thalassaemia major, who have been well treated from the beginning, may well live as long as people without Thalassaemia. Only time will tell. Even so Thalassaemics live with more risks than non Thlassaemic, because of the amount of medication and treatment they receive. But all medical treatments include some risk.

Can people with Thalassaemia major and minor have healthy children?

People with Thalassaemia major can have babies only if their partner does not carry any sort of Thalassamia. But all Thalassaemia major's patients children will carry Thalassaemia minor.

If a Thalassaemia major partner does not carry any Thalassaemia gene none of the children would have Thalassaemia major.

What stages does a woman with Thalassaemia go throw states before, during and after pregnancy?

For a woman with Thalassaemia to have children they must have normal sexual development. Many young woman with Thalassaemia are not having their periods, or whose periods have started and then stopped. In this case they can be treated medically so that they produce eggs. If they are not physically fit, a pregnancy could be risky for them and the baby. An expected mother should be fit, meaning they must use their pump regularly, her serum ferritin level should be around 1000 and her heart and liver should not have been damaged by iron overload. However, even if they are not perfectly fit, there is a chance that they could have a fairly normal pregnancy. Woman are advised to stop Desferal when they are trying to become pregnant, or as soon as they are pregnant. There is no evidence that Desferal can harm the foetus, but in general it is a good idea for any pregnant woman to not take drugs during pregnancy. Mothers who breast feed can start taking Desferal again as soon as the baby is born. Desferal does not pass from the mother's body into milk and so cannot harm the baby. Before a woman with Thalassaemia decides to have a baby they must take account about the long-term future, their own health, and survival or whether they will have support from their family's.

The chance of having a baby with Thalassaemia minor decrease if their partners have Thalassaemia minor.

What is Thalassaemia? Why and What to donate?
Remedies Who can donate blood?
Tests for Thalassaemia Who cannot donate blood?
Blood Types and Compatibility History of Blood Transfusion
Go to Top
Home | Introduction | Management | Future Plans | Services | Pictures | Projects | Events
Contacts | Search | Sitemap | Email

Copyright © 2009. All rights Reserved. Site developed and maintained by JiXoft.Com