Blood and plasma are life­savers


Ev­ery fort­night, Dion Martin takes time out of his day to help save some­one’s life.

A reg­u­lar blood and plasma donor for more than 30 years, Martin reg­u­larly takes time out to sit in Palmer­ston North’s donor cen­tre, a thin IV line con­nected to the vein in his arm from a box-like ma­chine nearby.

It’s a ma­chine that takes his blood, re­moves the plasma and re­turns his blood back to his body within an hour.

Plasma is the fluid that car­ries red blood cells around the body.

New Zealand Blood Ser­vice spokes­woman Diane Ren­shaw said plasma could make up to 13 dif­fer­ent medicines to help peo­ple with can­cers, burns, and haemophilia.

Although many peo­ple do­nated blood, in the Palmer­ston North area 200 new plasma donors were needed to help ‘‘spread the load’’ for the reg­u­lar donors, Ren­shaw said.

Alan Brooker made his 107th donation on Monday.

The Palmer­ston North man said he tried to do­nate about ev­ery four weeks.

Booker’s fa­ther was un­able to do­nate blood af­ter caching malaria while serv­ing in the med­i­cal corps in World War II.

So, he had en­cour­aged Brooker to do­nate and ‘‘give back to so­ci­ety’’.

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