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Plea for blood to save women

Friday June 13th, 2014

Access to safe blood transfusions could save the lives of thousands of women every year, campaigners say.

The World Health Organisation made the plea on the eve of World Blood Donor Day tomorrow - June 14th.

Nearly 800 women a day die worldwide during pregnancy or childbirth.

WHO says severe bleeding is the single biggest cause of death - and women could be saved by access to safe supplies of blood for transfusion.

Volunteers donate about 108 million units of blood every year worldwide - about half of them in the wealthiest countries.

Dr Edward Kelley, from WHO, said: “Safe blood transfusion is one of the key life-saving interventions that should be available in all facilities that provide emergency obstetric care.

“Yet in 2014, equitable access to safe blood for obstetric care still remains a major challenge, contributing to high maternal mortality in many countries.”

WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan said: “When a new mother dies, not only does her baby face greater risk of death, malnourishment and lifelong disadvantage, but the whole family’s wellbeing is affected.

“If all obstetric facilities provided safe blood for transfusion, many of these mothers’ lives could be saved.”

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | Women’s Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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