Monday, 12 December 2011

64 units of blood...

Our last weeks on the ship were incredibly busy, so we had blogs in mind to write but that didn't get written before we left. Maybe we'll catch up on some of of the things we were involved with was the blood donation for local hospitals. Staff from the maternity hospital where Sarah has been working this year came to the ship to take blood from the crew to top up their blood bank and that of the children's hospital up the road. Generally patients in Sierra Leone would have to call their relatives to donate them blood when it is required and at times this can prove difficult. If they are lucky a few relatives will turn up and be tested, but many are not suitable donors because of HIV, Hepatitis, anaemia or high blood pressure. It is always good if there are some units in the blood bank for women who have no one else to ask. The women coming for fistula surgery come alone, often having been rejected by their families and the staff often end up being the blood donors when required.
 Lara is one of Tommy's high school students students - she has spent some time working in the hospital/lab on work experience so for her birthday she got to help with the blood taking...
 Lara was fab, she got the blood from both of us on the first attempts and we had hardly any bruising, she'll make a fab health professional in a few years :-)
I wonder how many teachers let their students stab them with a needle?
Thanks to everyone who helped and to everyone who gave blood. You might have just saved a Mama's life :-)

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