Nationwide search for O and A blood donors with rare blood type to help sick mum

Nationwide search for O and A blood donors with rare blood type to help sick mum

Lifeblood has launched an urgent nationwide search for blood donors to help a South Australian mother-of-two with a blood type so rarei just one in 10,000 people may be a match.

37-year-old Amira is currently in an Adelaide hospital awaiting urgent open-heart surgery. She is expected to need more than 20 bags of blood prior to, during, and after the procedure.

Lifeblood Medical Director Dr James Daly said any O or A blood donor in Australia or internationally could be a match.

“Most people will be either O or A blood type, but Amira has a rare combination of other blood types that need to be matched, which means any donor with O or A blood type might prove to be a perfect match.

“We have identified a few suitable donors, but this mum will require a large number of units to see her through her surgery and finding as many donors as we can with the right blood type will ensure we can meet her transfusion needs both now and, in the future,” Dr Daly said.

He called on people in the community with O and A blood types to book a donation over the coming week. All donated blood will be tested to identify donations that will undergo further screening to find a suitable match.

“We’ve exhausted Australian supplies of this rare blood type and we’re now working with international blood services to search for potential donors. We hope to receive a small number of units from overseas but for Amira’s surgery to proceed safely at least 15 donors with the same rare combination of blood types are still needed within the next few weeks.

Lifeblood, this mum, and her husband Ahmed thanked people who have already come forward to donate in the hope of being a match.

“We are so grateful to family, friends and the wonderful people in the community, many of whom we do not know, who have heard about Amira’s plight and have rolled up a sleeve to donate blood,” Ahmed said.

“I urge as many people as possible across the country with O and A blood to donate blood this week, so we can find more donors to help Amira.

“This is not a situation you ever expect to find yourself in. Any help or support is much appreciated.”

To be a match for Amira, a donor must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be blood type “O” or “A” (If a donor does not know their blood type, they should still donate to see if they are a possible match)

To join the search book a donation via, call 13 14 95, or download the Donate Blood app.

i Beyond commonly recognised blood groups such as A, B and O, there are more than 300 other variants. Each of these variants is a marker on the surface of our red blood cells and is known as an antigen. The presence or absence of these create rare blood types and this expression of antigens is known as an individual’s ‘phenotype’. Your blood type is considered rare if you lack antigens that 99 per cent of people are positive for. If someone receives a transfusion of blood that doesn’t match their own type, their body may recognise the transfused blood as foreign, and develop antibodies to try and destroy the ‘invader’.