How donating blood can save a child’s life
Just like adults, pediatric patients need blood transfusions for a variety of reasons. Usually, donor blood is used because the child has lost too much blood, can’t make enough blood or has a bleeding disorder. Every time you decide to donate blood at a children’s hospital or Red Cross blood drive, you’re making a positive difference in your community that could save lives. During National Blood Donor Month this January, Sunrise Children’s Hospital would like to thank all blood donors throughout Las Vegas who have given the gift of life.
The loss of blood
Children’s emergency care teams may need donor blood to save the lives of children who have suffered severe burn injuries, traumatic wounds or internal bleeding.
Children who need surgery may also need blood transfusions. Occasionally, children and teens are able to donate their own blood, before the procedure, or a family member will donate blood. However, children who undergo surgery may lose more blood than expected, in which case, emergency blood transfusions are needed.
The inability to make enough blood
Inside some bones, like the hips, lies a spongy tissue called bone marrow. This tissue is responsible for producing new blood cells.
Some pediatric patients are affected by bone marrow diseases that prevent this tissue from making enough blood cells or from making normal blood cells. For example, the tissue produces abnormal white blood cells because of leukemia, a type of cancer. In children with aplastic anemia, the bone marrow doesn’t produce red blood cells.
Sometimes, a medical treatment can affect the ability of the bone marrow to make blood, such as chemotherapy. This is why pediatric cancer patients may require blood transfusions.
The complications caused by a bleeding disorder
Blood or bleeding disorders are another reason why children need blood. When you choose to donate blood , your gift may be used to help children with sickle cell disease, hemophilia, von Willebrand disease or thalassemia.
Pediatric patients at Sunrise Children’s Hospital need blood every day. Your donation can save the life of a child in our Trauma Center, Emergency Room, surgery wing or oncology unit. A friendly nurse is available to take your call at (702) 233-5437.
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