Rare blood put to good use

Ellenbrook Advocate - - NEWS -

LIZ Wil­liams is part of a spe­cial group of blood donors with a rare blood type who have saved the lives of thou­sands of un­born Aus­tralian ba­bies.

The Jane Brook res­i­dent has made 425 blood do­na­tions since join­ing the Anti-D pro­gram 44 years ago.

She is one of only 19 WA blood donors whose blood is used to make anti-D – an in­jec­tion given to 17 per cent of women dur­ing preg­nancy to pre­vent un­born ba­bies from de­vel­op­ing the po­ten­tially fa­tal haemolytic dis­ease.

Blood Ser­vices spokes­woman Jessica Wil­let said this year marked the 50th an­niver­sary of Anti-D.

“The dis­cov­ery of the An­tiD in­jec­tion was a med­i­cal break­through in 1967, and since then more than two mil­lion Aus­tralian women have re­ceived in­jec­tions of Anti-D,” she said.

“Anti-D pre­vents the mother’s blood from harm­ing her baby in-utero when their blood types are in­com­pat­i­ble, and pro­tects them from haemolytic dis­ease of the new­born, which can cause se­vere anaemia and still­birth.”

Ms Wil­liams urged oth­ers to con­sider do­nat­ing. “With­out th­ese do­na­tions it can be a deadly dis­ease and if the baby sur­vives it can cause hor­ren­dous brain dam­age,” she said.

Liz Wil­liams and friend Ge­or­gia Hall at the Anti-D donor event.

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