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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A fourth compatible blood donor has been found in the United Kingdom for a two-year-old Miami girl battling cancer who has extremely rare blood.
OneBlood, the not-for-profit blood center serving Florida and other parts of the southeast, is working closely with the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP) to find donors for Zainab Mughal.
Her blood is extraordinarily rare because she is missing a common antigen that most people carry on their red blood cells. The antigen is called “Indian B” (Inb). For a person to be a possible match for Zainab, they must also be missing the Indian B antigen.
Statistically, the only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent. Of these populations, less than four percent of the people are actually missing the Indian B antigen.
News of the additional donor comes a month after OneBlood announced it had identified three compatible donors for Zainab and was actively searching the world to find seven to ten donors to support her long-term blood transfusion needs.
When informed that a fourth potential match had been found in the United Kingdom, the ARDP arranged for a unit of blood to be flown to the United States. OneBlood performed a compatibility test and confirmed the donor is 100% compatible with Zainab.
Of the four matching donors, two were found in the United Kingdom and two were found in the United States. OneBlood says it will continue its worldwide search.
In the past month, OneBlood has received more than 22,000 emails from people who potentially meet the specific donor criteria. The donors are being contacted by OneBlood or by blood centers coordinate their donation.
Nearly two dozen blood centers are actively working with OneBlood to find compatible donors. To date, the OneBlood Reference Laboratory team has tested more than 2200 units of blood. Testing is taking place around-the-clock.