Today is World Blood Donor Day and we'd like to take the opportunity to thank each and every person who has ever made a blood donation. Did you know that 1 in 3 Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime? We like to offer a huge round of applause to the Red Cross and the wonderful way that they run their blood donor and bank service.
Each year more than 3,000 babies are admitted to NICU/SCN in Western Australia. Many of these babies go on to require blood transfusions whilst they are in hospital. Premature babies have a low blood volume, some are born with less than 80ml of their own blood. Each day blood is taken from them to test them for illness and to ensure that their blood gas levels are appropriate. Unfortunately taking their blood for testing and their inability to make their own blood means that there is a deficit which makes them sick. There comes a critical time when a blood transfusion may be necessary. Many of these babies receive more than one transfusion during their NICU/SCN stay.
Some sick full term babies are also recipients of blood or blood products. The reason for this varies from conditions such as rhesus disease, where a baby's entire blood volume may need to be replaced, to surgical procedures where babies need their blood volume topped up.
Obviously there is also a wider community need for blood and blood products. People who are undergoing cancer treatment often need blood, those involved in accidents where there is significant blood loss also require blood. Surgical patients of all ages may require blood. There are many, many more reasons why people may require blood or blood products.
If you have never previously donated blood, or maybe it's been a while since your last donation, we would encourage you to phone the Red Cross on 13 14 95 and book a time to make a difference. One blood donation can save up to three lives!
If you or your child has received blood or blood products we would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment.
Many thanks to Claire D for allowing us to share images of her daughter receiving a transfusion in NICU.