The need goes on #1: A difficult birth
Meghan Trann knows firsthand how unexpectedly the need for blood can arise.
About a year ago, Meghan was anticipating the birth of her second child by Caesarean section. Her first daughter, Charlie, had entered the world by the same procedure and Meghan was expecting a similar experience.
That wasn’t to be. Instead, Meghan went into labour before her surgery date. It progressed so quickly that her husband called paramedics, who began giving him instructions about how to deliver the baby at home.
In the end, Meghan was taken by ambulance to a hospital in White Rock, B.C., where she gave birth to the couple’s second daughter Ava. But she wasn’t quite out of the woods.
“Very shortly after her birth I began to lose a significant amount of blood,” Meghan said.
Later, she learned the shocking news that she had lost approximately 2.5 litres in total. It was a risk she’d never contemplated during her pregnancy.
“I started Googling, wondering how much blood I had in my body to begin with,” she said. “It had never been on my radar as a risk or a concern for me.”
‘Babies are still being born’
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a tragic milestone in the COVID-19 epidemic: 5,000 deaths around the world. Like those in other countries, Canadians are closely following the advice of public health leaders to remain safe.
At the same time, the organization’s director-general issued a reminder of the many other types of patients who continue to need care.
“Babies are still being born. Essential surgery is continuing. People still need emergency care after road traffic crashes,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “People still need treatment for cancer, diabetes, HIV, malaria and many other diseases.”
Some of those patients will also need blood products. At any time, a mother-to-be in Canada could find herself in Meghan’s situation, needing blood products to recover from an unexpectedly dangerous delivery.
“The world doesn’t stop because of this virus,” Meghan said. “The need is still there.”
Now that she’s recovered, Meghan is planning her own first donation with colleagues, as well as annual donations with her family to honour Ava’s birthday. She urges other donors to honour their own appointments this spring.
“Any one of those donors, or someone in their family, or someone they know, could become in need of blood,” Meghan said. “Even during this time.”
The risk of COVID-19 is prompting people across Canada to avoid public spaces of all kinds. However, Canadian Blood Services wishes to remind donors and prospective donors that the need for blood products continues, and that all of our donor centres continue to be safe places to visit. Our website is updated daily with information about our own response to COVID-19.