Monday, 22 July 2013

Blood donation - my story

When anyone asks me if giving birth to E has put me off any more children (no!), I always tell them that the birth was fine but the haemorrhage (caused by retained placenta) after was extremely traumatic for me. I didn't know what was happening to me, what the prognosis was and I was left alone with the call button. It took place 10 days after her arrival (which you can read about here), just as I had been feeling well and settling in to my new role as Mummy.  
If you are interested, there is plenty of information online regarding blood loss and haemorrhage (postpartum haemorrhage) after birth but Boots WebMD sets it out particularly clearly. A loss of over 2 litres is considered severe. I lost 1.5 litres (or 1500ml) during the birth and my loss during the haemorrhage (clearly only once admitted to hospital) was recorded at a further 1.5 litres. 
When I was admitted for surgery, I was asked if I would have a blood transfusion. I was told it was not compulsory but that it would speed up my recovery.  I took the transfusion and was given 2 units to replace the estimated 3 litres I had lost.
Because I have now had a transfusion, I am unable to donate but obviously blood donation is something that is now very important to me as without donations people like myself wouldn't be able to have them. Whilst it would be dramatic for me to say it had saved my life, it certainly helped me to recover. 

Blood stocks in the UK have fallen and O- (my blood group) in particular are needed. If you can give blood, please do so - none of us know what the future holds and whether we will need donations ourselves.
According to the Blood website, 96% of us rely on the other 4% to donate. That's a staggering amount. Think of how much good could be done if those figures could be turned around.

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