COIMBATORE: In a rare medical phenomenon, two siblings from Coimbatore — both in their 20s — have been found to have the Bombay ‘Oh’ Phenotype, an extremely peculiar blood group which only 0.0004 per cent of the global population has.
With this, in Coimbatore district there are only nine identified persons who have this rare blood group. Among them five are not eligible to donate blood due to health reasons.
The siblings Ranganathan (23) and Sasikala (21) hailing from Nellichettypalayam village near Annur, a fast expanding suburb, were unaware of their medical condition until doctors at the Government Coimbatore Medical College Hospital discovered it by chance.
Last month Sasikala, who was admitted in an advanced stage of pregnancy, was found suffering from anaemia in a critical stage.
When doctors decided to administer her blood transfusion to their dismay they found that she belonged to the Bombay ‘Oh’ blood group.
“Only two donors of the type had registered with the Blood Bank in our district. We were unable to reach them as their mobile phones were switched off. In our desperation, we decided to check the blood group of her relatives. Both her parents were aged and therefore we tested her brother and miraculously we found that he shared her blood group,” recalled Dr A Mangaiyarkarasi, Blood Bank specialist at the CMCH.
“I immediately donated blood and saved my sister’s life. She delivered a boy. I am extremely happy. We were not aware of the rarity of our blood group. It was a surprise,” says Ranganathan.