In honor of mothers and caregivers of children, Virginia Blood Services has launched the Mothers of May (M.O.M.) campaign. The campaign recognizes moms who have personally been impacted by the gift of life, or who have supported a loved one impacted by the gift of life, and shown exemplary strength, hope and courage through the process.
Children as young as newborns can be greatly impacted by the generous gift of blood donations. As little as three teaspoons of blood can save a baby’s life. Some children with blood diseases will spend their childhood receiving routine blood transfusions.
Did you know if you are an O-Negative blood type, you have a rare and special blood type? This blood is special because it can be used to treat newborns, premature infants, and those with suppressed immune systems. Such donors are scarce. Only 7% of the population has O-Negative blood!
O-Negative blood is important for young recipients, but so is blood that is CMV Negative! CMV (Cytomegalovirus) is a complex flu-like virus that most adults are exposed to at sometime in their lives. Almost everyone is susceptible to the virus, and once you’ve had it, your body retains the antibodies.
CMV can persist in infected donor white cells and is often transmitted by a blood transfusion, but rarely causes disease. However, in the case of low birth weight infants the consequences of such infection may be severe or even fatal. Because the immune systems in these infants are not fully developed, every precaution must be taken to avoid infection. Scientific studies have shown blood lacking this virus (CMV negative blood) is safer for pediatric patients. Therefore, hospitals prefer to use CMV negative pediatric units to ensure the safety of blood transfusions to newborns.
This is why you may have heard people say they have “baby’s blood.” It means their blood is most likely used for newborns in need of a transfusion.
Be the Strength, Hope and Courage
If you or someone you know has a story to share about a mom who has personally been impacted by the gift of life, or who has supported a loved one impacted by the gift of life, and shown exemplary strength, hope and courage through the process, we’d like you to share it and bring awareness to the importance of blood donation.
Share the story on social media @vablood.
If you are interested in hosting a blood drive in honor of Mothers of May, please contact us!
Donate Blood. Save Lives.