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