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The New Zealand Blood Service is asking Dunedin residents to step up and donate more plasma, as it struggles to meet demand for the life-preserving substance.
Plasma is primarily used to treat people who have lost a lot of blood from trauma, or who have severe bleeding during surgery.
‘‘Plasma is also known as ‘liquid gold’ and rightfully so, as it can be made into 12 different lifesaving products,’’ NZBS national marketing manager Asuka Burge said.
The service needed to collect 45% more plasma in Dunedin within the next 12 months to meet increased demand, Ms Burge said.
‘‘In order to achieve this, NZBS needs 339 people to become new plasma donors, and for existing plasma donors to increase the frequency of their donations,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re confident the eligible Dunedin residents will roll up their sleeves and donate.’’
Plasma can be given at NZBS’s Dunedin Donor Centre, but donors need to meet additional eligibility criteria over and above those for basic blood donation.
The average plasma donor donates around six times a year, but demand for plasma products was rising by an average 7% annually, so the service needed more donors in all major centres, Ms Burge said.
‘‘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.’’
Plasma can be given at the Dunedin Donor Centre, at 170 Crawford St, and requires some additional eligibility criteria to be met.
Those interested in becoming a plasma donor are invited to visit www.nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448-325 for more information.