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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 15:26 GMT
Blood plea from tiny baby parents
Barry, Susan and Amy Donoghue
Barry and Susan Donoghue enjoy having Amy home
A couple from Dundee are urging people to give blood during the festive season following the birth of their premature daughter.

Amy Donoghue weighed just 450g when she was born at Ninewells Special Care Baby Unit in September.

After receiving transfusions she is now a healthy 11-week-old who has been allowed home for her first Christmas.

About 1,000 blood donors are needed a day but there are fears stocks could fall by half over the festive period.

Amy was one of the smallest babies ever born at Ninewells at 28 weeks.

Over the festive period the number of people coming forward could drop by half
Jacqueline Millar
Dundee Donor Services

Her mother, Susan Donoghue, had to have an emergency caesarean section due to pre-eclampsia.

Mrs Donoghue said: "It was terrifying when Amy was born so early.

"Because of blood donors and the wonderful care Amy received, we are now looking forward to a fun-filled Christmas.

"We would like to extend our grateful thanks to the blood donors who really do save lives."

As premature babies are so tiny, taking blood from their bodies for tests leaves them seriously anaemic and needing transfusions.

Blood supplies could drop over Christmas

Just three teaspoons of blood can save the life of a premature baby.

There are currently 16,772 active donors in the Dundee area, meaning they have given blood in the last 12 months.

But there are fears stocks could fall over the festive period, especially as Christmas and New Year's Days fall on a Tuesday, the peak collection day for supplies.

Jacqueline Millar, Dundee Donor Services manager said: "We normally need 1,000 donors every single day, but over the festive period the number of people coming forward could drop by half.

"This is very worrying because stocks are already at lower levels than we'd like.

"Secondly, hospitals will be working during the holiday period so the demand for blood remains high.

"This year, planned surgery is expected to continue until Christmas Eve, while leukaemia patients, premature babies, and A&E departments will continue to require high levels of blood."

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