Video: Blood recycling machine could save hospital lives

A pair of state-of-the-art machines designed to recycle blood lost during surgery are set to benefit hundreds of patients and save Sheffield Children’s Hospital thousands of pounds.

The cell salvage machines, funded by generous donations to The Children’s Hospital Charity, arrived at the Western Bank hospital last week and are already benefiting patients on the theatres department.

The machines work by collecting blood that would otherwise be lost before washing and filtering it so it can be given back to the patient. And Jim Wright, senior Operating Department Practitioner said the machines could save lives.

“These machines are really top of the range” he said. “They allow us the advantage of being able to give patients their own blood back and that helps us to take some of the pressure away from the National Blood Service. Despite the incredible work the NBS does and no matter how many people are generous enough to donate to them, the organisation is always under pressure to meet demand. Cell salvage also saves us around £150 every time we use it compared with bank blood.”

The machines speed up the transfusion process as there is no need to carry out compatibility tests on the patient. It can also be a viable alternative for patients who don’t want a blood transfusion for religious reasons.

Jim added: “We are a specialist trauma centre and these machines contribute to the care we are able to deliver to trauma patients. They could save lives in an emergency, all thanks to the amazing donors to The Children’s Hospital Charity.”

The two machines join another machine that was funded by the charity seven years ago. The Charity raised £12,000 to fund one machine, but following a successful trial the manufacturer Fresenius Kabi offered to provide an additional machine at no extra cost.

The main donors for this equipment were Sandra McCabe and the Scarborough Group Foundation, Swann Morton, Michelle Emerson and Andy Powell with their Recycling Christmas Trees fundraising project.

David Vernon-Edward, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “These machines are state of the art, and the fact we now have three means we are at the forefront of cell salvage provision. It is thanks to the amazing generosity of our donors that we are able to continue to provide the best possible services to our patients.”

For more information on The Children’s Hospital Charity, visit