Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Researchers to see if birth blood can be 'refused'

  • Comment

A hospital trust in the South West is to conduct ground breaking research into reusing blood lost by mothers during birth.

The 12-month study at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust is the first of its kind in the world. The trust’s blood conservation team will look at whether blood lost during a vaginal birth can be collected and test whether it would be safe to be re-infused.

As well as reducing pressure on blood stocks “cell salvage” – where a patient’s own blood is used in place of a transfusion – is safer, improves recovery times and allows patients to donate blood in future.

Cell salvage is widely used in other specialities. The trust already uses the technique in 90% of Caesarean sections it performs.

It offers to re-infuse blood even if the blood count is not low, as this can prevent women becoming anaemic in the days following the procedure.

Consultant anaesthetist Catherine Ralph has been awarded £50,100 by the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia to carry out the research on its use in natural births.

She told Nursing Times the “expertise” of midwives in the unit would be essential for identifying women who might benefit. An adhesive drape around the perineum will be used to collect the lost blood, which will then be mechanically “cleaned”.

John Faulds, a nurse and blood conservation co-ordinator at the trust, said: “We are thrilled Cathy was successful in her grant bid… Cathy’s research is the first time that kind of study has been done.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.