Counties Manukau Health celebrate a NZ first approach

CM Health is proud to announce a first in New Zealand approach that addresses barriers in a condition that can cause significant neonatal illness and even death.

“This initiative will benefit around 365 pregnancies a year, “says Amanda Hinks, Service Development Manager, Maternity Services.

The “rhesus factor” is a protein on red blood cells and approximately 15% of the NZ population don’t have the protein. This can cause complications/issues during pregnancy some of which can be dire, even fatal.

Recent work by a dedicated team has led to a treatment, a blood product, which can be delivered by community pharmacists free of charge on a Lead Maternity Carer prescription. This will help to address barriers such as cost and convenience, thereby reducing the risk of serious neonatal complications.

“This is the first time community pharmacists in New Zealand have delivered a blood product and we anticipate that other DHBs are likely to follow suit given this model’s convenience for the patient, midwife, and hospital compared with other options we considered," says Dr Natalie Gauld.

Amanda Hinks, Service Development Manager Maternity Services echoed these sentiments and noted her appreciation to the pharmacies managing this roll out during the COVID-19 Level 3 restrictions in Auckland, which has resulted in a number of doses already administered.

 “We know that pregnancy is a busy time, and we wanted to avoid bringing women into the hospital for this treatment and instead make it available closer to home,” she says.

“We look forward to watching how this innovative approach is accepted by stakeholders. It has been a great collaboration between a large multidisciplinary team that has brought this to fruition.”

The multi-disciplinary team working on the initiative included Amanda Hinks and Dr Sarah Tout from Women’s Health, Don Mikkelsen, Rachel Donegan, Graeme Sykes, Manpreet Gill, Yvonne Choy and Talalelei Teu from Middlemore Hospital Laboratory Services, Dr Natalie Gauld from Primary Care Planning and Funding, and Blood Transfusion Specialist Dr Dhana Gounder from NZ Blood Service.

soheila shakari anti D

Image: Soheila Shakari receiving her first dose of prophylactic Anti-D from Pharmacist, Michael Mishriki from Botany SuperClinic Pharmacy.

For a list of pharmacies that offer this service, click here.

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vaccine community maternity neonatal blood cells pregnant

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