Baby born "without blood" making progress

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Derwentside & Tyneside)

A BABY born seven month ago “without blood” has surprised North-East doctors by making good progress.

Ella May Loan suffers from a rare condition which meant her haemoglobin levels were so low that it could not technically be classed as blood.

Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead had never seen anyone with the condition before.

Her mother, Vicky Loan, 24, of Springwell Estate, Gateshead, said: "I really thought she was going to die. I hug her every day because I'm so grateful she made it.

"She's my special little girl. Ella and I have a unique bond because of what we've gone through."

Ms Loan was just days away from her due date when she went to hospital because her baby was not moving.

Doctors discovered her heart beat was dangerously low and eventually stopped, so they carried out a Caesarean section on August 25.

Haemoglobin is the protein which gives blood its red colour and the ability to carry oxygen around the body.

Ella’s level was four, compared to a normal level of 18 to 20.

Ms Loan said: "She was so white. The medics shouted for a crash team. They were trying to resuscitate Ella.

"I didn't know if she was going to live or die, neither did they. It was scary.

"When I saw her a few hours later, she was a healthier pink colour, she had been given new blood, but was hooked up to a lot of monitors."

Ella was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for specialist treatment, where Ms Loan, a single mother, got to hold Ella for the first time.

Dr Sachin Mannikar, consultant paediatrician, at the QE said: "Ella was born with an extremely low level of haemoglobin and was given an urgent blood transfusion.

"She was then transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at the RVI for a brief period before returning to the QE.

"This was possible because of good team efforts from the neonatal unit at the QE and input from the neonatal team at Newcastle, a good example of working together where Ella received the best treatment possible.

"She has made a good recovery."

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