NHS Blood and Transplant appealing for more people to become plasma donors at its Reading, Birmingham and London plasma donor centres.
Plasma is made into lifesaving medicines such as immunoglobulin which is used to treat more than 50 diseases including GBS, CIDP, and MMN.
NHS Blood and Transplant is running the ‘All Types Can Save Lives’ campaign during November because many people don’t realise they could donate.
Plasma donation in England only restarted two years ago.
An NHSBT spokesperson said: “Our amazing donors come from all walks of life, so if you’re aged 17-65, fit and healthy, regardless of your blood type you could become a lifesaving plasma donor.
“You could help babies hearts continue to beat, help to build antibody levels, protect pregnancies, and help to boost burn treatments.”
NHS Blood and Transplant research shows most people are willing to give plasma in principle – if they have heard about it – but many people don’t know if they are eligible or worry they will not be able to donate. However around seven out of ten people who go to a centre to donate for the first time are able to give a donation.
Plasma donation is similar to blood donation, except a machine next to the donor filters out the plasma. The donor then gets their red blood cells back, which means they can carry on with their day as normal.
The donor’s plasma contains antibodies, part of your body’s immune system, which are used as immunoglobulin to strengthen or stabilise the recipient’s immune system. Around 17,000 people in England receive immunoglobulin each year.
Reading’s plasma donor centre is in Kennet Place, 121 Kennet St, Kings Rd, Reading RG1 3ES . Birmingham’s plasma donor centre is in 61 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4DU. London’s plasma donor centre is in Floor 8, Regal House, 70 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3QS.
- If you’re the giving type, search ‘donate plasma’ and book your appointment today blood.co.uk/plasma