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    Tis the season to give the golden gift of plasma

    The festive season is nearly upon us, however the need for plasma doesn’t take a holiday. New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is therefore encouraging plasma donors to book an appointment and give the gift of life this Christmas.

    Plasma is the gold coloured liquid portion of the blood in which red and white blood cells and platelets are suspended. Due to increasing demand across New Zealand for blood products made from plasma, more plasma donors are needed every year. A single plasma donation can be made into 13 life-saving blood products.

    NZBS National Manager Marketing and Communications, Asuka Burge says as the demand for plasma-derived products increase, so in turn does the need for regular plasma donors.

    “Plasma-derived products are in constant demand with over 90,000 doses issued each year across the country. An additional 2000 plasma donors are needed to ensure future demand can be met, so we are actively recruiting donors who meet the eligibility criteria for plasma.

    “We are encouraging our plasma donors who may have some extra time over the holiday season to come in and donate. As plasma can be donated every 2 weeks, it may be a good chance to get an extra donation in over the holiday period. Or, if people haven’t donated plasma before, to make it their New Year’s resolution to find out if they are eligible. You couldn’t give a better gift than one which saves a life.”

    Not everyone is eligible to donate plasma so NZBS are encouraging anyone who is interested in becoming a plasma donor to check their eligibility here:www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/heart-of-gold/. Plasma donations can also only be done at certain Donor Centres as a special machine is required. Those who meet the criteria can donate every two to three weeks, rather than every three months as with whole blood donations.

    Plasma is used to treat people who have lost a lot of blood from accidents or other trauma and people who have severe bleeding during surgery. Plasma-derived products are also used to boost the immune system of people who have low levels of antibodies, control some autoimmune disorders and provide special clotting factor concentrates for some people with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders.

    “It’s not hard to see why plasma has earned the title ‘liquid gold’. So whether you are making your first donation or your 400th, we and the recipients really value your contribution,” says Burge.  

    To learn more or to sign up to become a plasma donor, visit www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/heart-of-gold/

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