Submitted by Bridget Kenny, Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville community health nurse liaison

Only a few months ago, Alisha Noble and her family celebrated the first birthday of their baby girl, Kennady.

Some of the events of the day Kennady took her first breath are a little hazy to Alisha. However, one thing remains very clear. She is very grateful for the team of Mosaic – Maryville providers, caregivers and community blood donors that make it possible for her to be present for birthdays and numerous other special events her four daughters will experience.

What started out as a routine and uneventful induction, grew concerning for Alisha’s medical team when they were unable to establish a good reading on unborn Kennady’s heart monitor after mom’s “water” or amniotic sac was broken. The team quickly discovered that the umbilical cord had made its way down the birth canal with the rush of fluid and the unborn infant’s blood supply was being pinched off by the pressure of the baby’s head. Since the umbilical cord is the baby’s source of oxygen prior to birth, Alisha was rushed to the operating room (OR) for an emergent cesarean section (C-section) to save the life of Kennady.

Alisha remembers the obstetrician providing an explanation of what was happening as one nurse did her best to protect the umbilical cord from the pressure of the head and other caregivers pushed her bed from obstetrics (OB) to the OR. The last thing Alisha remembers as the anesthesiologist drifted her off to sleep, was the cold antiseptic being poured over her abdomen.

When an unborn child’s oxygen supply is at risk, the surgical team’s goal is to remove the baby from danger as soon as possible while protecting the mom’s life too. Unlike an optional or planned surgery, there is no time to carefully cauterize and dissect blood vessels during an emergency C-section. The risk of doing so is the loss of baby’s life.

Alisha required two units of blood products and constant monitoring for several hours to preserve her own life that day as well. “What’s the baby’s name?” a nurse asked as Alisha drifted in and out of consciousness in the recovery room. While baby Kennady was back in OB safe in her daddy’s arms, caregivers spent several hours working to stabilize momma so that she could meet her new baby girl.

“We don’t spend our time thinking that we may need blood to save our life someday,” Alisha says while discussing the importance of donating blood if possible. In addition to her role as a mommy of four beautiful daughters, Alisha is a nurse and continues with the thought that “no one plans to lose that much blood at any given time.”

Emergencies requiring blood transfusions happen without warning. Sometimes it’s trauma related and other times the blood loss is due to a chronic medical condition.

Community members can help ensure that there is always an adequate supply of blood by donating, when possible, every eight weeks. Data shows that blood supplies tend to decrease over the holidays due to lower attendance of mobile blood drives and increased use of blood products due to traumatic automobile accidents.

Though the Community Blood Center (CBC) welcomes walk-ins for all drives, they encourage appointment scheduling, when possible, to ensure appropriate staffing. To schedule an appointment go to or call 1.888.647.4040. Drinking a lot of water in the hours before attempting to donate and avoiding caffeine will improve your donation experience.

People have shared that they are ineligible to donate blood for one reason or another. Donor regulations do change over time and if you are still interested in trying to donate, the CBC recommends that you recheck eligibility with your local donation site.

The Community Blood Center’s mobile team looks forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming drives including from 9 am to 2 pm, Friday, December 1 at the Northwest Technical School. Watch your Nodaway News Leader for future blood drives in Nodaway County.