(THE GIST OF PIB) International Thalassemia Day

(THE GIST OF PIB) International Thalassemia Day


International Thalassemia Day

  • International Thalassemia Day (May 08) was observed recently.

About Thalassemia

  • Thalassemia is an inherited (i.e., passed from parents to children through genes) blood disorder caused when the body doesn’t make enough of a protein called hemoglobin, an important part of red blood cells. 

  • When there isn’t enough hemoglobin, the body’s red blood cells don’t function properly and they last shorter periods of time, so there are fewer healthy red blood cells traveling in the bloodstream.

  • Red blood cells carry oxygen to all the cells of the body. When there are not enough healthy red blood cells, there is also not enough oxygen delivered to all the other cells of the body, which may cause a person to feel tired, weak or short of breath. This is a condition called anemia. 

  • People with thalassemia may have mild or severe anemia. Severe anemia can damage organs and lead to death.


  • Mild forms of thalassemia trait don’t need treatment.

  • For moderate to severe thalassemia, treatments might include:

  • Frequent blood transfusions

  • Chelation therapy: This is a treatment to remove excess iron from the blood.

  • Stem cell transplant: Also called a bone marrow transplant, a stem cell transplant might be an option in some cases. For children with severe thalassemia, it can eliminate the need for lifelong blood transfusions and drugs to control iron overload.



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Courtesy: PIB