Edinburgh mother who had almost all her blood replaced after haemorrhage calls for festive season blood donations

Karen Brydon needed 3.6 litres of blood replaced.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 6:00 am

A mum who had almost all her blood replaced after a postpartum haemorrhage is calling for people to donate blood over the festive season when it is needed most.

Karen Brydon, 43, from Stenhouse, suffered a haemorrhage after the birth of her daughter, Maisie, in April 2013.

Ms Brydon had never given blood before, but suddenly her life was in the hands of those around Edinburgh who had donated the 3.6 litres needed to make her well again.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I was reliant on those donations, otherwise I don’t know what would have happened,” she said.

“I’m so eternally grateful to those who gave blood.”

Ms Brydon is now not allowed to give blood because she has had a transfusion.

Her way of giving back to the service who saved her life is instead calling on those who are eligible to do so, especially in the run up to Christmas and New Year.

“Raising awareness is my way of helping out,” she said.

“My cousin just gave blood, and I’m now encouraging my sister to as well. And when Maisie is old enough I will encourage her to give blood as well.”

She added: “It’s so easy, it takes just 20 minutes or so and it could save somebody’s life.”

Ms Brydon’s message is part of a campaign from the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) for donations over the festive period. The service requires 442 people to give blood every day in December, and is especially looking for donations on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and Hogmanay.

Vincent Mooney, SNBTS Head of Donor Services in Edinburgh and Southeast Scotland said: “We are asking new and existing donors alike to come forward now to donate and help us ensure all hospitals are well stocked throughout December.”

The SNBTS aims to maintain a six-day supply of all eight blood types.

As blood has a very short shelf life, it cannot be stockpiled and donors are needed at all times.

However donations often fall over the festive period when people are particularly busy with other things.

The SNBTS is particularly aiming to attract young blood donors, as the average age of donors has risen in the last decade.

Those over the age of 17 are eligible to donate.

The Edinburgh Donor Centre, 41 Lauriston Place, is open every day over the festive season apart from Christmas Day and January 1 and 2.