Balearic leader Francesc Antich and health minister Aina Salom opened the new bone marrow transplant unit at Son Dureta hospital yesterday. The unit has cost 390'700 euros to build and a further 119'609 euros were spent on equipment. It is divided into an isolation area, with ten individual rooms and another area, not isolated, with four double rooms. Dr Besalduch, head of the haemotology service, said that the isolation rooms had a specific air conditioning system which kept out bacteria and virus and cut down the risk of infection. He said that the nurses in the unit have all been specially trained. Salom said that the unit was sufficient to cover current needs in the Balearics. Antich described the new unit as an advance, and said that work on a new heart surgery unit would start soon. He added that many units are now on a European level and explained that his government was working to provide the best health service possible. The bone marrow transplant unit of Son Dureta was set up ten years ago, during which time it has performed 269 transplants, 226 using marrow from the patients and 43 using bone marrow donated by relatives or third parties. So far this year, there have been 14 transplants. More than 72 per cent of the bone marrow transplants are due to a haemotology problem and most of the rest to tumours, although some are caused by metabolism problems and serious immune deficiency.


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