PLASMA DONORS: People in and around Stockton donating blood plasma
Image from NHS Blood & Transplant
Plasma donors in Stockton.
People in and around Stockton have begun donating blood plasma for medicines for the first time in more than 20 years.
This plasma will be used to make antibody-based medicines – called immunoglobulins - for people with rare immune diseases.
Stockton plasma donor centre is one of the 14 NHS Blood and Transplant donor centres around England now taking donations, for an initial three month period.
Thousands of patients rely on immunoglobulin medicines for short-term or lifelong diseases and genetic disorders.
Around 900 of these patients are on the North East and Cumbria immunoglobulin patient panel. A further 285 are on the Humber, Coast & Vale immunoglobulin patient panel.
With rising demand across the world for these medicines there is a global supply shortage. These donations will bolster the supply chain and improve the self-sufficiency of the UK in producing its own treatments.
They will be taken at repurposed former convalescent plasma donor centres, originally created for coronavirus research.
Maria Dineen, Stockton Plasma Donor Centre Manager, said, “Like blood donation, plasma donation will be altruistic, for the benefit of the NHS and we’re here ready to collect it. We’re asking people, if contacted by us, please donate plasma for medicines – you will save and transform lives.”
More than 180 people are booked in to donate this week at Stockton plasma donor centre, which is on Columbia Drive in Thornaby.
The antibody medicines are used to treat people with weak immune systems and a variety of other rare disorders. Illnesses include:
Immune disorders such as Common Variable Immune Deficiency.
Neurological disorders such as Guillain–Barre syndrome and myasthenia gravis.
Haematological disorders such as cytopenia - a low mature red blood cell count, which can occur following radiotherapy and chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
Dermatological disorders such as Kawasaki syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.
When people donate, the plasma is filtered out of circulating blood by an apheresis machine and the red blood cells are returned to the donor.
Several thousand donors will initially be recruited from the existing NHSBT blood donor base, rather than the general public. Open recruitment will be introduced in the future. To find out more about blood plasma donation you can visit www.blood.co.uk or call on 0300 123 23 23.
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