Thalassemia diseases and hemoglobinopathies are inherited red blood cell disorders which are commonly found in people who live in Thailand,Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Mediteranean area, South Europe and some part of Africa. The affected children usually look pale and have anemic symptom due to easily destruction of red blood cells mainly in spleen and liver. They also have yellowish skin (jaundice) with enlarged spleen and liver. They may have skull or facial deformities.
Each patient has various clinical presentation depending on each type of thalassemia or abnormal hemoglobin genes. If the patients have the severe anemia types of diseases, without any adequate blood transfusion support, they will have growth retardation, short stature,easily fatigue, and probably shortened life span. Early detection and precise diagnosis, together with appropriate treatment and care, will be the key to successful improvement of patients’ health and facilitate their normal growth alike other healthy children.
Proper treatments consist of taking oral red blood cell-nourishing medicine; clean, safe, and high-quality packed-red- cell transfusion; iron chelation therapy (in case of iron overload status); and the most importantly, curative therapy by bone marrow (or hematopoietic stem cell) transplantation for the indicated thalassemia patients. The suitable treatment selected among those aforementioned will be considered on case by case basis to serve for each individual patient. Moreover, there is medical genetic counseling service for the healthy couples who have thalassemia carrier for the prevention strategy and method to avoid their new baby from having thalassemia diseases.