Giv­ing thanks for gift of life

Gatton Star - - NEWS -

AT JUST seven and four years old, Ja­cob and Brock Pomerenke are too young to re­alise they owe their lives to anti-d in­jec­tions, a pub­lic health break­through that pro­tects about 5000 Aus­tralian ba­bies every year.

But their mother, Kay­lene, will be for­ever thank­ful for the in­ven­tion that meant her chil­dren were born healthy bubs.

Anti-d is a life­sav­ing in­jec­tion for preg­nant women with neg­a­tive blood types to prevent their un­born ba­bies from de­vel­op­ing hemolytic dis­ease of the foe­tus and new­born, a po­ten­tially fatal con­di­tion.

The Gat­ton mother said al­though she knew she would need anti-d be­cause she had a neg­a­tive blood type and her hus­band had a pos­i­tive blood type, it still didn’t pre­pare her for the grat­i­tude she felt to Aus­tralia’s anti-d donors.

“It be­came much more real when my hus­band had a blood test to con­firm his pos­i­tive blood type,” she said.

“I just want to say thank you to the donors who do­nate their plasma for these in­jec­tions.

“Your do­na­tions have al­lowed me to give birth to two healthy boys. For that I am for­ever grate­ful.”

Septem­ber marked 50 years since the first anti-d in­jec­tions were given to Aus­tralian women, rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing child­birth and gift­ing more than 250,000 women the hap­pi­ness of bring­ing healthy ba­bies into the world.

With­out anti-d, thou­sands of Aus­tralian ba­bies in the past five decades would have been at risk of ane­mia, en­larged liver and spleen, brain dam­age, heart fail­ure and death.

As part of its anti-d cel­e­bra­tions, the blood ser­vice is is­su­ing a call for more Aus­tralians to roll up their sleeves and do­nate plasma.

“In Aus­tralia, 17% of all preg­nant women are at risk, yet there are only 130 Aus­tralian donors who pro­vide the plasma es­sen­tial to mak­ing anti-d,” Aus­tralian blood ser­vice spokes­woman Jennifer Camp­bell Case said.

“Our grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and new med­i­cal treat­ments made from plasma means de­mand for plasma is ris­ing every year.

“While not ev­ery­one can be an anti-d donor, every plasma do­na­tion is vi­tal for help­ing treat con­di­tions such as he­mo­philia, can­cer, au­toim­mune dis­or­ders, bleed­ing, as well as burns and im­mu­ni­sa­tions.”

To do­nate blood or plasma, phone 13 14 95 or visit do­nate­blood.com.au.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

HAPPY KIDS: Gat­ton mother Kay­lene Pomerenke with her sons Ja­cob (left) and Brock who owe their lives to anti-d in­jec­tions.

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