A Wirral mum whose newborn son needed special treatment in the first week of life has welcomed news that plasma donation has restarted in England.

Kes Earl's son Trevor (pictured below) needed medicine made from plasma called immunoglobulin because her blood was destroying his platelets.

He was born in January 2018 with neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.

The antibodies in Kes' blood were attacking his platelets, putting him at risk of serious internal bleeding.

He was born with a very low platelet count and needed resuscitation at birth.

Wirral Globe:

He had bleeds in his stomach and kidneys.

He received plasma medicine containing donor antibodies, which helped calm down the aggressive antibodies.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is today launching a campaign for plasma donors.

Plasma donation only restarted this year after a gap of more than 20 years and few people know what plasma donation is.

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An NHSBT survey shows only 23% of the public know about it.

Recalling Trevor's experience, Kes, 24, a paralegal, from Tranmere, said: "He was very sick in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and couldn't even be held until he had immunoglobulins and selected platelets.

"It was the hardest week of my life not being able to hold my first child.

"Within 24 hours of his first infusion I was able to hold him for the first time, and he was allowed home three days later."

Doctors knew from genetic tests there was a 50% of the same happening during Kes' second pregnancy, so she received immunoglobulin herself during the pregnancy.

"We were warned that every subsequent pregnancy triggers a stronger antibody response and if untreated, it would be very likely that he could have a bleed on the brain, which could cause disability or even the loss of life.

"Thankfully, after three separate hospitals were involved I was put on the treatment path with biweekly testing of antibodies and was advised whilst still a risk, treatment can be very successful."

Her second son Wyatt also needed NICU but was not as seriously ill and was able to room with Kes on the second day.

Kes said: "Wyatt was born with a healthy platelet count and no bleeds - so the most success I could hope for so I would do it all again.

"Getting the first hour of life with Wyatt was one of the best moments of my life.

"I cried, my partner cried, it was the first time I could see my child born.

"I would say immunoglobulin helped save my family.

"If Trevor had been a natural delivery he was at risk of interracial haemorrhage and even death.

"Wyatt was a completely different story."

She added: "I think there is a real gap in the knowledge around plasma donation and immunoglobulin and how it can treat conditions."

There was a ban on using plasma from UK donors for these medicines from 1998 to February 2021, as a vCJD safety precaution. The independent experts of the MHRA concluded it could safely be restarted. 

Donated plasma is made into antibody medicines known as immunoglobulins, which are used to save the lives of people with immune disorders. Around 17,000 people a year receive these medicines. 

People can support the campaign by sharing the news with friends and family who live near the 11 new plasma donor centres.

The nearest donor centre to Wirral is in Manchester though the network may expand in future years.

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: "We thank Kes for supporting this campaign and we hope more people will come to understand the lifesaving power of plasma donation."