The smallest patients need the most specialized care.
Babies needing transfusions as part of their medical care should only receive blood from donors who have not been exposed to CMV. CMV (Cytomegalovirus) is a flu-like virus that most adults are exposed to at some point in their lives. As with other viruses, once someone has had CMV, their body retains the antibodies.
- CMV is generally harmless to adults, but can be fatal to babies. For this reason, babies needing transfusions as part of their medical care should only receive blood from donors who have not been exposed to CMV (CMV negative).
- Regular testing is conducted on blood donations to check for CMV antibodies. The CMV virus is present in up to 85 percent of adults by age 40 – making CMV negative status a big deal.
- The American Red Cross sends pediatric specific blood products to hospitals throughout the country every day.
- Since only a small number of donors are able to meet this very specific medical need, we ask eligible CMV negative donors to answer the call to give blood on a consistent basis.
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for more information or to schedule an appointment.
You can also download the free Blood Donor App.
It’s hard to imagine Olivia and Cameron once weighed less than 3 pounds each at birth. Today, the nearly 3-year-old twin sisters are healthy, happy, and continue to grow, thanks in part to generous blood donors. The twins, born 11 weeks premature, were found to be suffering from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. Olivia received double the amount of blood and nutrients needed for growth, while Cameron was born severely anemic. Cameron needed an emergency blood transfusion of CMV negative blood due to her delicate state. After spending 57 days in the NICU, the sisters both went home healthy and ready to conquer the world.