Today: Blood drive brings awareness to critical medical needs of premature babies

Children’s Hospital of Georgia and Shepeard Community Blood Center team up for World Prematurity Day event on Nov. 17

EDITORIAL NOTE: Noon is designated time for media coverage. We will identify a parent of a premature infant for interviews. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Nov. 14, 2016) – About 15 million babies worldwide are born preterm each year, according to the March of Dimes. Babies born before 37 weeks tend to have more health problems and need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born on time, and some will battle long-term health effects, like problems with the brain, lungs, hearing or vision.

In addition, more than 80 percent of all very premature infants will require a blood transfusion perhaps several, during their hospital stay, according to Dr. Brian Stansfield, a neonatologist at Children’s Hospital of Georgia and an assistant professor of pediatrics for the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

In recognition of World Prematurity Day, the Shepeard Community Blood Center is teaming up with Children’s Hospital of Georgia for a blood drive from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday in the hospital’s lobby. Donors are invited to stop by and give blood to support the more than 650 critically ill and premature infants treated each year in the hospital’s Level 4 neonatal intensive care unit.

“As prematurity affects about 1 in 10 infants nationally, blood donation provides an invaluable resource for life-sustaining medical care,” Stansfield said.

The 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the second-largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children.

CHOG was recently ranked as the nation’s top performing hospital in pediatric quality and safety by Vizient Inc., a consortium of the country’s academic medical centers. Visit or follow on Twitter at

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Written by
Denise Parrish

Denise Parrish is Director of Communications for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic at 706-721-9760 or

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Written by Denise Parrish

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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