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World Blood Donor Day (June 14)

Date:   June 10th 2005
Time:  9am
Venue: Macmillan Unit, Day Unit, West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds
Photo: Transfusion patients and the hospital's transfusion nurse specialist will be available for interview/photographs

Patients at West Suffolk Hospital who rely upon regular blood transfusions will be available for interview along with the hospital’s transfusion nurse specialist to promote World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

World Blood Donor Day on June 14 is held internationally to promote and encourage voluntary blood donation.

Available for interview:

West Suffolk Hospital's Transfusion Specialist Nurse - Jaye Walker

Jaye has worked as a transfusion nurse specialist at West Suffolk Hospital since October last year. She had worked in the field of haematology and blood transfusion prior to that. A transfusion specialist nurse liaises between the hospital lab and clinical staff who carry out the transfusions to ensure safety of the patient during transfusions and that transfusions are prescribed appropriately and that staff follow guidelines. The nurse specialist is also responsible for staff training to ensure Trust compliance with national and EU guidelines.

Christopher Welsh ­ patient

Mr Welsh, a retired manager for a London bank, has been transfusion dependent for five years. He has a form of anaemia called myelodysplastic syndrome. There has been a breakdown in the way in which bone marrow produces blood. Red blood cells die more quickly than they should and red blood cell levels fall continually. Without regular blood transfusions, Mr Welsh, who is married with two daughters, may not be alive today. Mr Welsh lives in Norton near Bury St Edmunds.

Colin Pearce ­ patient

Mr Pearce, 70, was diagnosed with Aplastic anaemia in January. Aplastic is a serious rare disease that develops when the bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells.

He has since had around 20 units of blood and visits the hospital every fortnight for a blood transfusion and every week for a platelet transfusion. He lives near Bury St Edmunds and is married with two daughters and four grandchildren.

Fact and figures on blood transfusions at West Suffolk Hospital

  • The hospital carries out around 1,500 blood transfusions each year. This includes transfusion dependent patients, emergencies, for example patients injured in road accidents, stab wounds, emergency and elective surgery, Post partum haemorrhages (serious bleeding after childbirth) etc.

  • The hospital uses around 5,500 units of blood each year.

  • West Suffolk Hospital has cell salvage machines to recycle a patientıs own blood. This is a process where the patient's blood is rescued during a procedure, processed and re-infused back into them. These machines can be used if a patient has religious beliefs that prevent blood transfusions or if the patient has a rare blood type.

  • All blood is tested to ensure it is not carrying hepatitis B or C, HIV, etc.

  • Although members of the public give their blood voluntarily and for free, it costs £132 for every unit of blood because of the number of tests needed to ensure it is safe to use.

  • As well as blood transfusions we also carry out platelet and plasma transfusions which are derived from the kind blood donations of members of the public.

  • There are four blood donor centres in Bury: Nowton Estate, The Athenaeum, Moreton Hall and New Bury community centre.

  • Telephone the National Blood Service on 0845 77 11 711 for more information on how to give blood.

 10 June 2005



West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust