Blood donors come and go

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Ev­ery year the NZ Blood ser­vice loses about 25,000 donors for rea­sons such as sick­ness, travel or tat­toos.

Many peo­ple who had of­fered to do­nate in the past had been de­clined for such rea­sons, a spokesman said, but chances were they’d be wel­comed back.

“If a per­son was turned down for po­ten­tial exposure to malaria while on hol­i­day in Thai­land, for in­stance, the stand-down pe­riod is four months, not a life­time.”

Even those who were in­el­i­gi­ble to give blood may be able to do­nate plasma (where the red blood cells and platelets were returned to the donor af­ter the plasma had been ex­tracted).

The ser­vice cur­rently had 110,000 loyal donors on file, 3800 of them plasma-only donors, and needed an­other 55,000. Whole-blood could be do­nated ev­ery three months but plasma could be given fort­nightly.

But while ev­ery donor would be wel­comed with open arms, it was men aged be­tween 35 and 55 who were most needed.

Men were usu­ally big­ger, so could do­nate more plasma in each session, chief ex­ec­u­tive Sam Cliffe said, while the Na­tional Child Can­cer Network said their blood was also pre­ferred for clin­i­cal­ly­trans­fused plasma prod­ucts, specif­i­cally those used to as­sist clot­ting af­ter ma­jor surgery or se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents, or for trauma pa­tients dur­ing car­diac and trans­plant surgery.

The ser­vice is at Te Ahu today, 8.30am to 2.30pm.

Peter Nie­pel about to give blood, for the 26th time, at Te Ahu yes­ter­day.

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