On World Blood Donor Day – 14 June – WHO is calling on countries to improve access to safe blood for saving the lives of mothers.
Every day, almost 800 women die from causes related to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Severe bleeding during pregnancy, delivery or after childbirth is the single biggest cause of maternal death and can kill a healthy woman within 2 hours if she is unattended. Urgent access to safe supplies of blood for transfusion is critical to saving these women’s lives.
“When a new mother dies, not only does her baby face greater risk of death, malnourishment and lifelong disadvantage, but the whole family’s wellbeing is affected,” says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “If all obstetric facilities provided safe blood for transfusion, many of these mothers’ lives could be saved.”