First Master Class in Paediatric Transfusion Practices in India, 2023 April

With advancements in modern medicine, paediatric haematology oncology is witnessing a rapid growth of potential management strategies to offer to children suffering from various haematological and oncological diseases. Transfusion medicine with clinical apheresis services has always played a pivotal role in managing these patients. The Department of Transfusion Medicine and Department of Paediatric Haematology Oncology from the Postgraduate Institute of Child Health, (An autonomous Institute under the Govt. of UP) in Noida, India hosted a "Master Class on Paediatric Transfusion Medicine" with a theme of "Transfusion practices for paediatric haematology oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients". The meeting was organized under the aegis of the Paediatric Haemato-oncology (PHO) chapter of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP). This was a national training, conducted on the 1st and 2nd of April 2023 at the institute and the Uttar Pradesh Medical Council awarded 6 credit hours to the academic meeting. 

The aim of the master class was to provide both basic and advanced up-to-date training and discussion on various topics from Clinical Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Apheresis and Immunohematology focusing primarily on paediatric Haemato-oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplants. The honourable Prof Dr Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW), Government of India inaugurated the master class and highlighted the importance of training in this area. The resource persons (National and International) for this training were stalwarts from the field of PHO and transfusion medicine providing in-depth teaching and the opportunity to have more one-to-one discussions on key issues. 

The master class was carefully designed with a total of 10 modules (38 lectures) covering all the relevant topics in the span of two days. The modules included immunohematology, blood component therapy, transfusion in hemoglobinopathies, blood safety, stem cell transplantation and cell therapy (focused on paediatrics), blood component modifications, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, inherited bleeding disorders, therapeutic apheresis, and clinical transfusion. 

The target group for the master class were trainees and residents from paediatric haemato-oncology and transfusion medicine who are actively involved in this field and dealing with such patients. A total of 45 participants attended the master class out of them 15 were from a PHO background and 30 were from a transfusion medicine background. The layout of the program provided enough time for the participants to ask questions and discuss the topics in detail. 

The uniqueness of the master class was that it provided a platform for physicians from paediatric haematology and oncology to have an opportunity to discuss topics in detail with their counterparts in transfusion medicine. This platform laid the foundation of many collaborative projects in both the field and improved patient care. ISBT shared the logo for use during this master class which gave the master class more acceptance and recognition in the region as well as across the world. As a part of the master class, the organizing team also released a handbook for “Guideline for Handling of Blood Products” for the residents and trainees of the institute. 

The Department of Transfusion Medicine at PGICH aims to plan more master classes in paediatric transfusion medicine with the theme of transfusion support in paediatric critical care, emergency, paediatric cardiac surgery and neonatology. The department also aims to develop useful resource material for training and education in the field of paediatric transfusion medicine.  

The Author

Satyam Arora

Satyam Arora

Clinical Transfusion Working Party Secretary, Paediatric Subgroup Vice Chair, Associate Professor Transfusion Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Child Health, Delhi, India