Unique Blood Needed to Save 2-Year-Old Florida Girl

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
December 4, 2018US News
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One of the rarest types of blood in the world is needed to save a 2-year-old Floridian girl who has neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

Zainab Mughal needs either “O” or “A” blood types but in addition to the normal requirements, she also needs blood that is missing the antigen called “Indian B.”

The antigen is present in the majority of people’s red blood cells.

The OneBlood group has launched a worldwide search for specific donors who could be a match.

Potential donors must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian descent, meaning the donor’s birth parents are both 100 percent Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian, according to the group.

This group of people is already relatively rare, and less than 4 percent of them are actually missing the Indian B antigen.

In addition, the donors must have either “O” or “A” blood types.

So far, more than 1,000 donations have been tested.

Three matching donors have been found so far, one in the United Kingdom and two in the United States.

“While it’s promising the three donors have been located, additional donors are needed. Zainab will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future. To support her long-term blood needs, the search is on to find at least seven to ten compatible donors. OneBlood is sharing Zainab’s story in the hopes more people who meet the specific donor criteria will come forward to donate for the little girl,” OneBlood stated.

Information on how to donate, depending on where the donor lives, is available at the OneBlood Zainab page.

zainab mughal
Zainab Mughal in an undated photo, needs a rare form of blood. It must be “O” or “A” type but also must be missing the antigen known as “Indian B,” which is found in most people. (OneBlood)

Tears

Zainab’s father said that the family cried when they learned their little girl had cancer.

“We were all crying,” said Raheel Mughal in a video. “This was the worst thing we were expecting.”

Frieda Bright, the reference laboratory manager for OneBlood, urged people to come forward, no matter where they live.

“This is all hands on deck,” Bright said in the video. “We are searching the world to try to find blood for this little girl.”

Mughal and a number of other family members tried to donate but their blood wasn’t a match.

“It’s a humble request and I request it from my heart,” Mughal said in the video. “My daughter’s life very much depends on the blood.”

NTD Photo
(Steve Parsons-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Blood Donation Statistics

An estimated 6.8 million people donate blood every year in the United States, which is good because every two seconds someone needs blood in the country, according to the Red Cross.

Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured and can only come from volunteer donors. Just one donation has the potential to save three lives.

The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O. About 45 percent of the people in America have Group O blood.

People wanting to donate blood must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be at least 16, 17, or 18 years old, depending on where you live in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Reasons blood donations aren’t accepted include if a person is sick, is taking antibiotics, or if they have received a blood transfusion within the past year.

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