Some of the big hospitals in Delhi do not contain Factor 7 injections given to Haemophilia (a life threatening blood disorder) patients in cases of emergency. This has been revealed in a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by haemophilia patient. Some hospitals do not even have day care centers for these patients. However, the hospitals tell a different story.
The RTI revealed that while Lok Nayak Hospital which has a special treatment centre for the disease, does not contain factor 7 injections on shelf, Deen Dayal Upadhayay (DDU) Hospital, another big hospital does not contain factor 7 injections nor does it have any day care centre for the patients.
In response, a senior official from the DDU Hospital said, “We have not been provided enough space for a day care centre. We have factor 8 and 9 injections available at the hospital for immediate treatment. We have not been given any guidelines to keep factor 7.”
The official further said that the hospital does not register any haemophilia patient and the registration is done by Lok Nayak Hospital, the official said.
The RTI also revealed that no lab and expert facility for factor assay test, prenatal diagnosis of haemophilia is available at the hospital.
According to the RTI, in Lok Nayak Hospital, till October 13 2018, around 3117 patients of haemophilia were registered with the hospital. Though facilities for factor assay, clotting factors and other tests are available, no facility of factor 7 is available on shelf.
On the other hand, the hospital authorities said that the hospital is very well equipped to treat the patients.
“Factor 7 is available on case to case basis depending on the condition of the patient. As a state policy, it is available in emergency situations. A file related to the same has been sent to Delhi Secretariat and we are waiting for the same,” said a senior official.
The RTI further revealed that no specific amount has been sanctioned and released by the Delhi government for the purpose of haemophilia to Lok Nayak Hospitals.
Other hospitals that do not contain the injections include Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital however around 79 patients are registered at the hospital.
“No treatment of factor 7 is available in GTB Hospital, however day care centre is there,” suggested the RTI.
Similarly, in Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital, factor 8 and 9 are available on demand but no ‘factor assay test’ and other test facilities are available at the hospital.
In such a scenario, the patients are required to visit other cities like Agra where the facilities are available, some patients said.
“Factor 7 injections are very expensive which is why it is impossible for us to buy them or get the protein injected privately. I have factor 8 deficiency but I wonder what will happen if I one day develop any inhibitor,” said a Hemophilia A patient.
According to Dr Nitin Gupta, Consultant, Department of Hematology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in India, there is only one company that makes factor 7 injections ‘Novoseven’ and the shelf life of the injections is very less which is why they may cost more than Rs 1 lakh to a patient in need.
“The dosage depends on the size and weight of the patient. For 2ml dose a patient may have to spend Rs 1 lakh depending on the need,” he said.
The doctor further said that the disease can be life-threatening in absence of the medicine.
“Although factor 7 deficiency is quite a rare situation but the problem may occur if a patient of haemophilia develops inhibitors. In such a situation if bleeding is there and factor 7 is not available, it becomes life threatening,” said Dr Gupta.
Inhibited Hemophilia is a situation where factor 8 and 9 stop working as the immunity system of the body starts attacking the injected proteins, he added.
Hemophilia is a genetic blood disorder where due absence of some proteins in the body, the blood does not coagulate or clot easily in case of an injury. There are about 13 coagulation factors in the body and the disorder happens in the absence of some factors.