ERSKINE 70-year-old Peter Nicolay has been recognised for saving the lives of unborn babies.
Mr Nicolay has donated blood 383 times and is part of the Anti-D program.
Anti-D is a medicine, supplied by blood donors, which has revolutionised childbirth and gifted thousands of women the happiness of bringing healthy babies into the world.
Anti-D prevents the mother’s blood from harming her baby in utero when their blood types are incompatible, and protects them from haemolytic disease of the newborn, which can cause severe anaemia and stillbirth.
In WA only 19 blood donors are part of the Anti-D Program; their donated plasma is used to make lifesaving Anti-D injections for pregnant women with a negative blood type.
In Australia, 17 per cent of all pregnant women are at risk, and there are currently just 150 Australian donors whose blood is able to protect these babies.
Mr Nicolay travels to Perth once a fortnight to give blood.
“I feel good about doing it,” he said.
“It’s no big deal.
“It’s good to give back to the community.”
As part of its Anti-D 50th anniversary celebrations, the Blood Service is issuing a call for more donors to follow in the footsteps of Anti-D donors by donating plasma.
“The discovery of the Anti-D injection was a medical breakthrough in 1967, and since then more than two million Australian women have received three million injections of Anti-D,” Blood Service spokesperson Jessica Willet said.
“Since then, the need for plasma has continued to grow and incredibly plasma is now used to make more than 18 different lifegiving injections.
“Our growing population and new medical treatments made from plasma means demand for plasma is rising every year, so we always need more people to come forward and give plasma.
“While Anti-D donors are rare, every plasma donation is vital for helping treat conditions such haemophilia, cancer, autoimmune disorders, bleeding, as well as burns and immunisations.”
To donate blood or plasma visit donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.