NHS Blood and Transplant is asking for men between the ages of 17 and 66 to consider donating their blood plasma. Men are more likely to have the blood plasma volumes and larger vein sizes making them ideal donors. Donating plasma takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes and is completely safe. During the process the plasma is filtered out of circulating blood by an apheresis machine and the red blood cells are returned to the donor.
Plasma is used to make antibody-based medicines called immunoglobulins, for people with cancers, rare diseases, immune disorders and genetic conditions. Thousands of patients rely on immunoglobulin medicines for short-term treatment or lifelong diseases.
Last year, more than 450 people received medicine made from plasma at Birmingham’s hospitals. Currently the NHS depends entirely on imports of blood plasma from other countries – mainly the US – to manufacture immunoglobulins. Donation to NHSBT will bolster long term NHS supplies. The plasma being donated to NHSBT now will reach hospitals from 2022 onwards, following a manufacturing process to turn it into a medicine.
Appointments are available at your local Donor centre in Plymouth Grove, Manchester M13 9LL.
To make a blood plasma donation register at: https://www.blood.co.uk/plasma