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New blood management service at Waikato Hospital is a first in New Zealand

Patient Blood Management team members (standing left to right): Aileen McGowan, Betsy Pactolin, Julie Retter

Patient Blood Management team members (standing left to right): Aileen McGowan, Betsy Pactolin, Julie Retter.

It is scarce, it is precious and one day it could save your life.  Blood.

Blood donations are often in high demand and critical to a number of treatments and procedures performed at Waikato Hospital.

In a New Zealand first, the Waikato District Health Board has established the Patient Blood Management service which identifies donor’s blood as a scarce resource and a great gift.

Waikato Hospital has based its service on a set of patient blood management guidelines developed by the National Blood Authority of Australia, which a number of key tertiary hospitals in Australia have implemented.

Patient Blood Management coordinator Aileen McGowan said the service recognises the safest and best blood product for a patient is their own.

“Preparing patients for procedures where blood products might be required will be a focus for this service. Making sure we maximise their haemoglobin levels (red blood cells) prior to a treatment or procedure will help reduce the use of blood products and their associated risks”.

The Patient Blood Management team will be part of a multidisciplinary team approach, working alongside the patient with a specific management plan to optimise the patient’s own blood volume, minimise blood loss, and optimise the patient’s physiological tolerance of anaemia.

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