Blood donors must be 18 in Australia.
The 81-year-old Australian has donated more than 1,100 times since turning 21. Australian Red Cross Blood Service officials believe Harrison has saved the lives of 2.4 million unborn babies, based on the estimated 17 percent of pregnant women in the country who require the injections. The terrifying complications of HDN may include anemia, jaundice, heart failure, brain damage, and even death.
'Medications like Anti-D are a life-giving intervention for thousands of Australian mums, but they are only available because men like James give blood'.
" We motivate the companions and also close friends of all brand-new moms to think of contributing blood, simply one contribution assists make sure a person has the opportunity to be a mom". Harrison discovered his blood had unique properties when he had a lung removed, aged 14. He vowed to become a blood donor himself and began as soon as he was old enough.
Ms Barnes, who miscarried at four and five months before having treatment, said: 'Without him I would never have been able to have a healthy baby'.
Using plasma extracted from Harrison's blood, doctors devised the Anti-D injection, which was first given in 1967 to a pregnant woman at Australia's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. This is a unsafe condition that develops when a woman has rhesus-negative blood (RhD negative) and is carrying a child in her womb with RhD positive blood.
Sensitisation happens when a woman with RhD negative blood is exposed to RhD positive blood, usually during a pregnancy with an RhD positive baby.
If a mother is Rh-negative and her unborn baby is Rh-positive, they have Rh incompatibility- and that can be a problem. As her body starts feeling the baby's blood cells as a "foreign threat", she may then start producing antigens that can be prove to be risky for the baby.
The antibodies can continue attacking the baby's red blood cells for a few months after birth.
During pregnancy, some of the baby's blood can cross into the mother's bloodstream.
Rhesus disease does not harm the mother, but it can cause the baby to become anaemic and develop jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).