Blood machines help patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital

A cell salvage machine in action at Sheffield Children's Hospital
A cell salvage machine in action at Sheffield Children's Hospital
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A pair of state-of-the-art machines designed to recycle blood lost during surgery are set to benefit hundreds of young patients and save thousands of pounds at a Sheffield hospital.

The cell salvage machines have arrived at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and are already being used in its theatres department.

The devices, funded by donations to the Children’s Hospital Charity, work by collecting blood that would otherwise be lost before washing and filtering it so it can be given back to the patient.

This speeds up the transfusion process and can also offer an alternative for patients who don’t want to take donor blood for religious reasons.

Jim Wright, senior operating department practitioner, said: “These machines are really top of the range. They allow us the advantage of being able to give patients their own blood back and that helps us to take some of the pressure away from the National Blood Service.

“Despite the incredible work the NBS does, and no matter how many people are generous enough to donate to them, the organisation is always under pressure to meet demand.

“Cell salvage also saves us around £150 every time we use it compared with bank blood.”

Jim added: “We are a specialist trauma centre and these machines contribute to the care we are able to deliver to trauma patients. They could save lives in an emergency, all thanks to the amazing donors to the charity.”

The two machines join another that was funded by the charity seven years ago.

The charity raised £12,000 to pay for one machine, but following a successful trial the manufacturer offered to provide an additional device at no extra cost.

Charity director David Vernon-Edwards said the hospital was ‘at the forefront of cell salvage provision’.