New Zealand needs 35% more plasma donations to meet demand

New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) needs to collect 35% more plasma nationwide within the next 12 months to meet increased demand. In order to achieve this, NZBS needs 3000 people to become new plasma donors, and for existing plasma donors to increase the frequency of their donations.

“We’re confident the eligible New Zealand residents will roll up their sleeves and donate”, says Asuka Burge, NZBS National Manager Marketing and Communications.

“Plasma products are being used to treat an increasing number of life-threatening conditions, and with demand likely to continue to rise by 7% annually, we simply need more plasma donors across our major donor centres”.

“The average plasma donor donates around six times a year; others give on a fortnightly basis and some have done so for many years”.

“We’re incredibly grateful for our committed plasma donors but we realise they can’t do it alone. We need more people to start donating plasma so we can continue to help those in need”, says Ms Burge.

Plasma is used to treat people who have lost a lot of blood from trauma and who have severe bleeding during surgery. It can also form part of a lifesaving and regular treatment plan for many New Zealanders in need like five-year-old Harry McPhail.

Harry McPhail and Keith Roberts

Harry has X-linked agammaglobulinemia, which is an extremely rare genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to fight infection. Thankfully, the condition can be managed by an infusion of a plasma product called Evogam, which he will receive every week for the rest of his life.

Many Kiwis, like Harry, need regular infusions of plasma products to be able to live a normal life. Plasma is also known as ‘liquid gold’ and rightfully so, as it can be made into 12 different lifesaving products.

Plasma can only be given at donor centres and requires some additional eligibility criteria to be met.

Those interested in becoming a plasma donor please click here or call 0800 448 325 for more information.

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