Receiving Blood Saved My Life – National Blood Week
This week 11th – 17th June is National Blood Week! This is a subject close to my heart, if it wasn’t for being on the receiving end of blood donations then I more than wouldn’t be likely here writing about my story today. Unfortunately I can no longer donate myself but in my own little way I’d like to contribute by raising awareness of National Blood Week and if a few of my readers are inspired to go and do something amazing and give blood then I will have helped in my own small way.
Regular readers of this blog will probably already be aware of my story. With MasterB’s pregnancy I had placenta praevia which basically meant the placenta was covering the cervix and therefore there was no easy exit route for baby! We were aware early on in the pregnancy that the placenta was in the way but it was monitored closely over the pregnancy, by 30 weeks it was only slightly covering the cervix and there was still a little hope that it would move even more and allow a natural delivery but the chances of needing a caesarian section were increasing.
Up until 26 weeks I’d had no major problems with the pregnancy but it was at 26 weeks that I had my first bleed, this involved an ambulance trip to hospital, the bleed stopped, I was given steroids to mature the babies lungs and was discharged. The hospital trips were repeated 3-4 times over January and then finally on February 12th 2011 after another major bleed, the consultants decided I was staying in until the baby arrived as it was just too unstable. I was 34 weeks pregnant and facing 5-6 weeks in hospital if baby didn’t arrive sooner. Thankfully up to now all the bleeds had stopped relatively quickly.
On Monday 14th February the bleeding started again but this time it didn’t stop, instead it sent me into labour. I was hooked up to my first blood transfusion at around 2pm in the afternoon and by 4pm they decided the bleeding wasn’t stopping so it was time for baby to make an entrance into the world. I was taken for a caesarian section under general anaesthetic and MasterB arrived at 4:28pm. He was 6 weeks early and taken to NICU but he had no major health issues. I however lost around 3.2 litres of blood and in total I received 6 units of blood and 3 of plasma whilst in the operating theatre. The statistics for how much blood you can loose through the placenta are terrifying, as the consultant explained to me when he told me I had to stay in. The volume of blood passing through the placenta is around 500ml per minute which means if you are bleeding through the placenta then blood loss is fast and dangerous.
Luckily for me, there was plenty of A+ blood stock on hand that day. If the situation had been otherwise then MasterB may never have met his mummy, MissB would have lost hers and my husband would be raising our children alone. I can’t even bring myself to think about it.
So Why Give Blood?
Currently only around 4% of people donate blood and the rest of us rely on them if we need it! That’s an awful statistic isn’t it?
With major events taking place in the UK this summer such as the Diamond Jubilee and The Olympics, the need for blood is going to reach a high level. With so many extra visitors in the country the blood service are wanting to get their blood stocks as full as possible!
It doesn’t hurt to donate blood, it takes under an hour of your time to do and it will have no negative impact on your health.
They take 470ml of blood from you, this gets replaced by your bodies own natural system within a couple of days and you really won’t notice the difference.
So what are you waiting for? Go and book a date to give blood now. After all you never know, it could be one of your loved ones that needs blood in the near future.