Changing your mind You can change your mind at any time and choose to receive a blood transfusion. This choice will also be respected and docu- mented in your maternity notes. Further questions If you have any questions about blood transfusions and refus- ing blood transfusions please speak to your midwife or doctor. Declining Blood Products or a Blood Transfusion in Pregnancy or after Childbirth If you would like more information in another language or format please contact the: Servcie Equality Manager PALS Maternity Services Information for Patients Introduction Minimising the need for a blood transfusion (cont) This leaflet has been written for pregnant women who know To minimise the chance of heavy bleeding during labour you they want to decline a blood transfusion. are advised to opt for ‘active management’ to deliver your pla- For detailed information about blood transfusions please see centa (afterbirth). Your midwife or doctor will discuss this in the leaflet prodcuced by the National Blood Service - ’Will I more detail with you. need a blood transfusion?’ Having your baby Telling your midwife or doctor The care you receive during labour will not be affected by your You may choose to decline treatment with blood or blood prod- decision to decline a blood transfusion. ucts but it is important that you tell your midwife or doctor as To ensure that any problems with bleeding are dealt with soon a possible, either at booking or during early pregnancy. promptly you are advised to give birth in the consultant led units This will allow enough time to discuss the potential implications at either City Hospital or Sandwell General Hospital rather than in a relaxed and unhurried environment. midwifery led care. Following discussion with your midwife or doctor you will be If you require a caesarean section (either planned or emer- asked to sign the following forms, which will be kept in your ma- gency) you are advised o have an epidural (regional anaes- ternity notes: thetic) to minimise any risks during surgery. Senior medical • General Consent Form excluding blood transfusion staff will also be available during surgery to identify and man- • Health-Care Advance Directive age problems quickly. If you need a blood transfusion Minimising the need for a blood transfusion If your doctor feels that you need a blood transfusion to treat The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and sever bleeding or anaemia they will discuss the reasons with this Trust have developed ‘a care plan for women in labour re- you in detail to allow you to make an informed decision. fusing a blood transfusion’ and when your midwife or doctor are discussing your care with you they will be guided by this plan. Should the situation worsen without treatment with blood prod- You may be able to reduce the chance of needing a blood ucts your doctor will discuss this with you in detail to ensure transfusion by ensuring that you are not anaemic ( low iron lev- you are aware of any possible consequences. Your choices els) during pregnancy. You will be offered regular blood tests will be respected if you still wish to decline a blood transfusion, to check your iron levels and if they are low you will be offered even when the outcome may be very grave. tablets to increase your iron levels.