Scotland

Mother's new year resolution plea to donate blood

Conan and his mum Sian.
Image caption Conan and his mum, Sian, at the Glasgow Donor Centre

The mother of a premature baby whose life was saved by a transfusion has called for people to make giving blood their new year resolution.

Sian Waugh's son Conan weighed less than 800g when he was born 15 weeks early.

The little boy from Midlothian needed a blood transfusion when he was two days old but is now a healthy 18-month-old.

The Scottish blood transfusion service said just three teaspoons of blood can save the life of a premature baby.

Image copyright SPL

Ms Waugh has urged people to give blood at a time of year that traditionally sees donations drop by up to 20%.

The 36-year-old said: "My first pregnancy progressed normally until 25 weeks, when I was rushed into hospital.

"His early arrival was a huge shock, but we called him our little fighter. When he was only two days old he needed a transfusion due to a haemorrhage in his tiny lungs.

"Although the blood he received was only a tiny amount we immediately started calling blood transfusions 'the tonic' as the improvement in his health was so remarkable.

"He then needed another transfusion a few weeks later when his oxygen levels dipped again. He had a long road to recovery, but was finally allowed home after 112 days in hospital. He is now fit and healthy, and so very precious to us."

Regular commitment

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service needs 550 blood donations every day to meet the needs of patients in Scotland.

Each of the eight blood groups must be maintained at five to seven days' supply and there is a particular demand for O Negative and O Positive donations.

Dr Moira Carter, from the service, said: "This story highlights how making a regular commitment to donating blood does save people's lives. Just three teaspoons of blood can save the life of a premature baby like Conan.

"We are asking everyone to give blood during 2016 to help us meet the transfusion needs of patients in Scotland."

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