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17 May RAPID DIAGNOSTIC TEST FOR BLOOD DISORDERS

. In a major breakthrough which would go a long way in cutting down medical costs of the patients with severe Hemophilia A and von Willebrand Disease (vWD,) the ICMR- National Institute of Immunohaematology (NIIH), Mumbai has developed a cost-effective point-of-care (POC) rapid diagnostic test for the blood disorders.

Affordable Test

. This would cost a patient less than Rs 50 in comparison to existing conventional test for the diseases that cost around Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000.
. India has become the world’s first country to develop POC test for specific diagnosis of any common bleeding disorder.

Prevalence

Haemophilia A and vWD are the commonest among bleeding disorders. As per the Western data, the incidence of Haemophilia A is 1 per 10,000 male births and that of vWD is around 1 per cent of the general population.

In India, there is no epidemiological data and with translation of this data with respect to the population, the country may have roughly 80,000-1,00,000 severe haemophilia cases, but the total number registered with Haemophilia Federation India (HFI) is only around 19,000.

Issues

. At present, lack of awareness, lack of diagnostic facilities, high cost of tests are some of the factors for the underdiagnosis of bleeding disorders in the country.
. Both Haemophilia A and vWD are underdiagnosed disorders in and there are only a handful of comprehensive diagnostic centres for bleeding disorders.

Benefits

The newly developed rapid test kit could be used for the diagnosis of undiagnosed patients/menorrhagia cases/ post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), gynaecological complications with bleeding history, recovery of factors in the transfused Haemophilia A patients and also for differential diagnosis of both the diseases.Vwd & Haemophilia A.

• People with vWD have a problem with a protein in their blood called von willebrand factor (VWF) that helps control bleeding. When a blood vessel is injured and bleeding occurs, VWF helps cells in the blood called platelets mesh together and form a clot to stop the bleeding people with VWD do not have enough VWF or it does not work the way it should. It takes longer for blood to clot and for bleeding to stop. Research has shown that as many as 9 out of 10 people with VWD have not been diagnosed.
• Hemophilia A also known as classical hemophilia is a genetic bleeding disorder caused by insufficient levels of a blood protein called factor VIII a clotting factor individuals with hemophilia A do not bleed faster or more profusely than healthy individuals but because their blood clots poorly they have difficulty stopping the flow of blood from a wound.

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