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NOVEMBER IS PREMATURITY AWARENESS MONTH

PURPLE_logo-taglinePints of Hope. Support Prematurity Awareness Month.

Blood transfusions donated by volunteer blood donors can help replace red cells, platelets, and plasma in both premature infants and their mothers.

Why might a premature infant need a blood transfusion?

  • A premature baby may need a blood transfusion if the baby is very anemic or has severe jaundice.
  • A blood transfusion may be necessary to treat symptoms caused by anemia, such as apnea.
  • The number of red blood cells (RBCs) declines after birth in all newborns. RBCs carry oxygen throughout the body and it is vital that the baby has a certain amount. Babies born early may have a low level of RBCs because the part of the body that makes these cells (the bone marrow) does not yet have full function. This may require transfusion.
  • Red blood cell levels may also decline in premature babies due to blood loss during birth, during surgery, or from blood tests that may be required to treat the infant.
  • During pregnancy and/or labor, a mother may require a transfusion if diagnosed with anemia, preeclampsia, RH disease, Thalassemia, Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), or other illness. Placental abruption or hemorrhaging will also require transfusion.

mother holdind hand of a premature baby in incubatorPrematurity Facts/Statistics

  • The premature birth rate in the United States is 9.8%.  Pre-term birth rates in Pennsylvania are 9.4%.
  • Premature birth effects more than 380,000 babies every year.  That means one (1) in ten (10) babies is born prematurely. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born early each year.
  • A baby born at 25 weeks has a 50% chance of survival.  This rate increases to 80% for a baby born at 26 weeks.
  • Premature infants may face a number of health challenges, including low birth weight, breathing problems dues to underdeveloped lungs, underdeveloped organs/organ systems, or serious infections. They are also at greater risk for cerebral palsy and for learning/developmental disabilities.

Pints of Hope  donate blood in November to support Prematurity Awareness Month.  Take a picture wearing something PURPLE during the month of November, and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, either tagging Miller-Keystone Blood Center or using #PintsOfHope !

When you register to donate, you may also designate your donation in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month by using the group name “Premature Birth Awareness” or group ID 7550.   To schedule your donation, call 800-B-A-DONOR (223-6667) or click here!

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For more information on giving every baby a fighting chance, visit the March of Dimes website