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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

Haemoglobin D by Spursfan on 27 December 2009 9:07pm
Sophie and I were talking today. When Bethany was born, as well as taking the usual heel test, the doctors did a new test which determines which type of haemogloboin the baby has. It turned out Bethany is a carrier of Haemoglobin D. Sophie was tested because of this and she is also a carrier of HbD. (She'd told me all this before of course).

Basically it means that when Bethany grows up and eventually wants a child, she and her partner will have to have blood tests done to ensure he does not have one of the Hb (HbS or HbC I THINK) which together with HbD can cause sickle cell anemia in the child.

I always thought that this only happened in Caribbean families, and there is no caribbean blood in either side of our family (unless Mom wasn't telling me something hahaha). Zak's Dad was from Bengal.

I don't know if this HbD or whatever is checked for in all bloodtests - but I have never been told what Hb I am as far as I remember and I don't think Zak has either, though we both have regular blood checks (every 6 weeks in my case).

Does anyone know anymore about this HbD?

Re: Haemoglobin D by peripatetically on 27 December 2009 11:43pm
Anne, I worked in hematology for more than 33 years. This subject is quite complicated to try to explain on this web site in the chatterbox. Here is a website you might like to read.


There are various Hgb types but tests are not done on a routine basis every time you have blood work done. It is done for diagnostic reasons only when something is suspicious. Most people do not have hemoglobin problems. However, with the highly mixed racial culture of the UK, perhaps something signaled Bethany's doctor to order this for future reference. It is hugely important, so be sure records are kept straight for generations to come.

If you still have questions after reading about the subject, let me know. Maybe I can help with specifics.
Re: Haemoglobin D by mrsteabag on 28 December 2009 1:51am
It's good that the doc is on the ball, Anne. Scary as it is, better to know now than have a lot of nasty surprises later. Blessings to everyone.
Re: Haemoglobin D by kazzzz on 28 December 2009 4:47am
Yes it is. Would the doctor be able to advise her or refer to somewhere that would be a bit more informed?
Re: Haemoglobin D by Spursfan on 28 December 2009 9:44am
Thank you everyone and also thanks Pats for the info.

What I am perplexed about is - where did it come from? Obviously we don't know if Zak or I are carriers - or it could be Sophie's Dad's family I guess. Though as far as I know there is no Caribbean blood in HIS family either.

Pats - I know there is a 'variety' called HbD Punjab - is this literally found in people from the Punjab? If so that may be where it comes in. My father-in-law was not from the Punjab exactly but he WAS from India.

Oh and apparently they started automatically doing this test on babies the year Bethany was born, i.e. 2008. Good job too, I say.

Thank you again.

Re: Haemoglobin D by peripatetically on 28 December 2009 1:40pm
Yes, a hematologist is who you should speak to. A qualified, full-fledged, licensed medical doctor, not just someone who knows stuff about it like me.

I would say that Bethany's case is more than likely from your hubby's side, but who knows? It's hard to say what has happened in one's ancestor's lives. Family secrets can play havoc sometimes with health issues until proper testing is done. Not sure your health system automatically agrees to test Zak for the trait or not. Either way, it's either you, Zak or one of Sophie's in-laws who must be the culprit. If not, then.....
Re: Haemoglobin D by Spursfan on 28 December 2009 3:58pm
Yes Pats - could be her Dad's family. Though I didn't know there was any Caribbean blood flowing there; just selfish, oafish, p***head, violent, common, ignorant, git blood!!

Oh - did I say we didn't like our ex-son in law? !! :)

You wouldn't either if he called your daughter AND your grandaughter (his own daughter I hasten to add) a Paki!!

Not true - Sophie's Great-Grandfather was from India not Pakistan so perhaps I should add 'poor-at-geography' blood as well!!

Re: Haemoglobin D by peripatetically on 28 December 2009 5:48pm
Anne, sickle cell disease is widespread in the black community not just the Caribbean.Additionally, there are many phenotypes of Hgb D. Do you know which she has?
Re: Haemoglobin D by Spursfan on 28 December 2009 5:59pm
No, I don't know which type, Pats. And they are back in Worcester now (prefer talking to Sophie face-to-face about it).

Re: Haemoglobin D by peripatetically on 28 December 2009 6:07pm
Until Bethany gets a hgb electrophoresis test done, there's no way of knowing if she's only a carrier (has the trait) or actually has the disease . If she only had a solubility test at birth, which takes 5 minutes, and it came back positive, she'll need a more specific test. That's strictly for Bethany. Other members of the family will need the test to find the source of Bethany's trait. Hope things work out for the best. Not all are worrisome or dangerous hemoglobinopathies. Take it one day at a time here, Anne.
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