Don’t panic, no typo in the title, the neo here refers to new, as in newborn.
Yesterday, I did blood donation number 5. For those who want to hear more about donation 1, check out this post.
Anyway, the eagle-eyed person I am, I thought I saw a whole new 5 letters on my form. “neo-rr” for those that are interested. This got me wondering if my blood was going to get an upgrade to the blue tape to show it was suitable for newborns. It did. I got the special blue tape. And I bet you’re wondering why isn’t all blood suitable for babies. Well, let me tell you.
Newborn babies can only be transfused with blood that lacks the cytomegalovirus, this blood is labelled CMV-negative.
CMV is a mild and very common virus, similar to the virus that causes cold sores or chickenpox – in fact, around 50 to 60 per cent of adults in the UK have had it.
So this means, alongside being a rare blood type – only 8% have A negative, I get even more rare with having not had CMV. Just another reason that makes me special.
But this story gets more special. My one donation yesterday, could actually go to help 8 newborns. I do wonder if this means I should get 8 times the number of snacks, but I won’t dwell too much on that.
During his time, dad managed 32 blood donations, I’m a little way behind that on 5, but if mine is going to 8 people I could argue I’ve given hope to a whole lot more!
If you want to brag about being a lifesaver, like I can, you can sign up to be a blood donor here https://www.blood.co.uk/