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Mason and Madelynn

Michelle received the happiest news of their lives in August 2013. Michelle was pregnant – with twins! Other than the normal risks associated with having twins at age 35, Michelle’s pregnancy went smoothly. That is, until she went into labor on January 2, 2014 at only 24 weeks along.

Michelle was rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) where they confirmed she was in preterm labor. “The staff at SMH was wonderful. They did all they could and were able to keep me pregnant for a little over a week. However, on January 10, 2014, which was 15 weeks early, I went into full labor,” says Michelle. She gave birth to one boy weighing 1 lb. 13 oz. and a girl weighing 1 lb. 10 oz.

While she was still in the hospital recovering, Michelle received the first call from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at 1 a.m. the morning after she delivered. Michelle remembers, “My babies needed a blood transfusion and they wanted my permission.”

Michelle was told that it was very routine for preterm babies to need a transfusion. “There was nothing about a blood transfusion for my day-old babies that seemed routine to me,” said Michelle. However, it became her new normal over those next few months, as they both had several transfusions to keep them alive and growing. Mason and Madelynn are now healthy, happy and active preschoolers.

Did you know that the average size of a blood transfusion for a newborn is only one tablespoon? Something as basic as blood loss associated with routine blood sampling for testing can cause a preterm baby to need a transfusion.

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