I would like to have more children but am afraid to have another one with thalassemia, how can I avoid it?

In general we discourage families to plan for another kid purely with the intention of finding a donor for the child suffering from thalassemia. Do keep in mind that the chance of a match with a sibling is only 25%.
If you want to have a another child irrespective of whether the next child is a match, you must get screening done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Prenatal diagnosis of thalassemia is relatively straight forward by Chrionic Villus Sampling or CVS.
Biomedical technology also allows to select and implant an embryo which is thalassemia-free and HLA-compatible, and is called as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD.This is not legalized in some countries (e.g. India), is expensive and only partially successful.

These answers have been prepared by:
- Dr. Lawrence Faulkner, Cure2Children medical team coordinator
- Dr. Sadaf Khalid, Cure2Children Pakistan branch coordinator