Routine blood check saves donor

The simple reason that Treyton Maddock regularly donates blood is that he likes the idea of helping others. Fortunately no one in his family has ever needed a blood transfusion or blood product, but that’s the point - one day they could.

He’s been donating blood for a few years now, typically two or three times a year, and his most recent visit to New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) was one of his regular visits. As usual, whenever you visit a NZBS donor centre or blood drive to donate there are some routine checks and questions asked. These important checks are in place to ensure the safety of the blood for those receiving it, and maintaining the health of donors to ensure they are fit and able to donate.

One of these checks is the finger prick test during the confidential interview with the nurse. This looks at haemoglobin levels – the iron-containing protein in your blood that carries oxygen. Low haemoglobin can be an indicator of anaemia.

At this visit, Treyton was deferred as the NZBS nurse noticed his haemoglobin levels were lower than ideal and suggested he talk about this with his GP next time he had an appointment.

Not long after, Treyton was at the doctor for something unrelated, and mentioned the finger prick test. Some further tests were done. Treyton describes the results as “a bit of a worry”. Occult blood was found. This is blood you can’t see and meant he was bleeding internally. A colonoscopy was scheduled and performed due to his family’s history of bowel cancer.

Sedated during the colonoscopy, he was woken up to be shown an eight-cm growth on the screen. He describes the next two days as feeling “a little bit more serious”. A biopsy fortunately confirmed the growth was benign not cancerous and Treyton and his family were able to relax.

Surgery to remove a section of his bowel containing the growth has returned him to good health. He’s grateful for that, and for NZBS’ thorough checks and diligent staff. He will be able to donate blood again in about three months’ time and you can bet it’s on his to do list.

To find out more about becoming a blood donor, click here or call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.

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