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Pioneering Treatment for Cornish Mums in Labour

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8:01am 18th November 2012

Cornish mums who lose blood during birth could have it recycled and given back to them.

The pioneering treatment at Treliske already exists for those who have a C-section.

Now researchers want to extend it to ALL mums.

Dr Catherine Ralph is leading the project. She said: "Donor blood is very safe in this country and indeed lifesaving. However, if you can avoid having someone else's blood then there are enormous benefits for the person and also for the health service, which pays a lot of money for blood.

"It is always nice to know it is your own blood that you are having back. Donor blood is very safe. However, the supply of donor blood is limited and the resources that are invested in making sure someone else's blood is safe does cost a lot of money.

"Inter-operative cell salvage during caesarean sections has become part of our normal routine procedure and it is now used in more than 90 per cent of cases. Year on year we are reducing the numbers of women who have blood transfusions in maternity. Last year we had got it down to just 1.2 per cent.

"We offer it to everyone we have been able to collect enough blood from regardless of their blood count in the recovery area. We have found that by doing that, it prevents women becoming anaemic days later."

Susan Bracefield from Newquay had cell salvage following her planned caesarean in April 2012. She said: "I had been anaemic for a lot of the pregnancy and felt grotty. When I came in for my pre-assessment I was given a leaflet about cell salvage and the staff explained what it was all about. I then went away and did my own research and realized this wasn't something that happened everywhere. I thought it was brilliant and felt it must be better having your own blood back.

"I certainly felt a lot better after I had had my baby and would certainly recommend it. It was so easy, simple and it was quick. I think if I had been told I had to have a transfusion rather than a re-infusion, I would have been more nervous."

Sian Goddard also had cell salvage during a C-section and then requested it a second time. She said: "I have two girls and my first daughter was born by emergency caesarean in March 2009. I was able to have cell salvage but unfortunately I did have a few problems. However, when I knew I would have to have a caesarean for my second daughter, I requested to have Cell Salvage again if necessary. As it turned out I didn't need it, but I was certainly keen that cell salvage be done rather than a blood transfusion. It's so much quicker than waiting for donor blood and it was my own. If I had had donor blood I may still have had a problem with that so for me the choice was obvious."

8:01am 18th November 2012

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