Sutton mum who would have died without transfusions backs calls for more blood donors

A mum who needed seven litres of blood transfused after being put on medication for a clot in her lung says she "would not be here today" if it wasn't for people donating blood.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 1:15 pm
Carol Dickens and her partner Adam Roberts

Carol Dickens, aged 40, attended A&E at King's Mill Hospital in February this year suffering chest pain.

A scan revealed that Carol was suffering from a pulmonary embolism, a blockage of an artery in the lung.

The business owner was put on blood thinning medication, but the bleeding became more severe, as she already suffered from severe menstrual bleeding, due to non-cancerous growths around the womb called fibroids.

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Carol Dickens and her partner Adam Roberts

The mum of four needed to receive regular blood transfusions while doctors worked out how they could treat her.

Miss Dickens, who owns Sutton catering firm Sweet Occasions, said: "They were struggling to give me anything to stop the bleeding.

"It was worrying but as soon as I knew you could have as many transfusions as you needed I knew it would be alright.

"There was no way I could go off the blood thinners so transfusions were just keeping me alive while they found something that would stop the bleeding."

Miss Dickens received seven litres of blood while in hospital over a two-week period from February to March, and her blood levels dropped to around a third of what they should have been at one point.

After receiving the life-saving transfusions, Miss Dickens is now backing a call by the NHS Blood and Transplant service for more donors, with more men needed to start donating in Nottingham.

She said: "I think (donors) are amazing. It definitely helped me, I think anyone that gives blood is amazing.

"My blood levels got that low at one point it was making me pass out. I definitely wouldn’t have been here (without the transfusions)."

She added: "If you can give blood you should because you never know when you or your family might need it."

The call from NHS Blood and Transplant comes as National Blood Week gets underway, taking place from Monday, June 10, until Friday, June 16.

Figures show 44 percent of active blood donors at the Nottingham centre, in North Church Street, are male, with 1,400 new men needed to donate over the next year.

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation for the service, said: "We need more new male donors in Nottingham to address the decline in men becoming blood donors. Blood donation saves lives.

“Men are more likely to be able to donate, and able to help more patients with each donation, so we need a new generation of young male donors, to ensure our donor base is strong enough to keep supplying lifesaving blood to hospitals."

You can register and book an appointment by visiting or calling 0300 123 2323.