New Zealand Blood Service needs to collect 25 per cent more plasma in Waikato within the next 12 months to meet increased demand.

To achieve this, NZBS needs 340 new plasma donors in the Waikato, and for existing plasma donors to increase the frequency of their donations.

"We're confident the eligible Waikato residents will roll up their sleeves and donate," says NZBS national manager marketing and communications, Asuka Burge.

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

Advertisement

"The average plasma donor donates around six times a year; others give on a fortnightly basis and some have done so for many years," Ms Burge says.

Te Awamutu resident Tom Davies is one of New Zealand's super donors, having exceeded 400 donations and counting.
Tom gave his first donation in Sydney on June 18, 1970, while on his OE.

Mr Davies continued to make a handful of donations in Australia, and even once in Toronto in 1975, and started a habit of a lifetime.

Plasma can form part of a lifesaving and regular treatment plan for many New Zealanders. Photo / Supplied
Plasma can form part of a lifesaving and regular treatment plan for many New Zealanders. Photo / Supplied

"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," Ms Burge says.

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 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.

Advertisement

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 be given at Hamilton Donor Centre and requires some additional eligibility criteria to be met.

Those interested in becoming a plasma donor can visit www.nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325 for more information.