New Blood Test Could Predict Premature Births

A recent study from students at Stanford University has been said to be able to identify a pregnant woman’s exact due date. The new blood test was created to offer an alternative/cheaper option to measure due dates, than ultrasound scans, which can cost around £100 per screening.

The technique could play an important role in predicting premature births and opening up more doors for research and funding for the care of pregnant women. The blood tests and research carried out so far have shown a 75-80% accuracy in predicting due dates and complications.

In the UK alone, more than 15 million babies are born prematurely, often with little to no explanation. Doctors have never had access to a great deal of funding for the research, leaving many mothers with the answer of “these things just happen.”

The tests measure genetic activity in the maternal, placental, and foetal genes. It looks at the mother’s blood levels of cell-free RNA (the body’s messenger to ‘protein-making factories.’) The blood samples collected during a pregnancy, can determine which genes give accurate readings of gestational age and the risk of premature births.

“I’ve spent a lot of time over the years working to understand preterm delivery. This is the first real, significant scientific progress on this problem in a long time” said Professor Mads Melbye.

Prematurity is largest cause of infant mortality and the biggest cause of death of children under 5 in the world – the student’s research could massively impact this statistic, if more development is to be made on their testing method.

“This gives a super high-resolution view of pregnancy and human development that no one’s ever seen before.”

Phlebotomy Training Services provide a brilliant opportunity for students to learn the skill of extracting blood – opening a number of doors for future careers in research and development. For more information, or to book a course, call us today on 01609 751610.


Man With Miracle Blood Makes His Final Donation

Anybody donating blood is a special thing; blood donations save countless lives per year. But in Australia a very special, record holding man, has just made his last donation.

James Harrison, 81, has donated blood 1173 times and it is estimated that his blood donations have saved the lives of over 2,000,000 babies. For this he was awarded a Medal of Order and was known as ‘The Man with The Golden Arm’.

The reason why James’s blood is so special is that it contains a special antibody which can be used to treat Rhesus Disease. This is a condition in which the blood of pregnant mother’s attacks the fetus in the womb.

The only reason Mr Harrison has stopped giving blood is that he has reached the upper legal age limit of 81, he stated that if he could keep donating then he would, “I’ve saved a lot of lives and got a lot of new kids into the world, so, that makes me feel good.”

It is thought that he developed this particular antibody when he had a lung removed at the age of 14 and needed a blood transfusion in order to survive the operation. Then at the age of 20 he made his first donation and has carried on every fortnight ever since at his local red cross centre.

In the UK there is a blood donation service ran by the NHS who are constantly crying out for blood donations. To find out how and when to donate blood you can visit their website here.

Phlebotomy Training Services are the most established and respected phlebotomy training provider in the UK. We provide a range of training courses from our entry level basic course, through to corporate training and the phlebotomy diploma.

To find out more about phlebotomy, how to forge a career out of it or any of our services simply call us on 01609 751 610 or contact us here.