Tuesday, April 23, 2024

‘Mad cow’ blood donation rule in NZ has changed

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Howick is the home of the monthly east Auckland plasma mobile drive, which needs at least 55 new donors every month to meet patient demand for plasma. Photo Michelle Gordon

The ‘mad cow’ blood donation rule has finally changed, meaning those who lived in in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland or France between 1980 and 1996 for six months or more may now be able to donate blood or plasma in New Zealand.

“New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is thrilled to welcome these donors into its lifesaving community and hoping to see an increase in blood and plasma donors in the east Auckland area,” a spokesperson said.

Howick is the home of the monthly east Auckland plasma mobile drive, which needs at least 55 new donors every month to meet patient demand for plasma.

The demand for plasma in New Zealand is growing by 10 per cent every year. Known as ‘liquid gold’, plasma is used to make 11 lifesaving treatments.

These treatments are used to help cancer patients, trauma and burn victims, pregnant women and those with blood-clotting issues.

However, the ever-increasing demand is largely driven by a growing number of people living with autoimmune disorders and ongoing health conditions who need plasma products every single week, for the rest of their lives.

Every week, 940 plasma donations are needed to help patients in the Auckland region.

“NZBS is inviting east Aucklanders previously impacted by the ‘mad cow’ blood donation rule to roll up their sleeves and give donating plasma a go in 2024,” the NZBS said.

“People can find out if they are eligible to donate by visiting the NZBS website and completing a basic eligibility quiz.

“If they have any further questions about their eligibility, they can phone 0800 448 325 and ask to speak with a nurse.

“Give plasma. Give hope. Book an appointment to donate plasma. Book an appointment online at www.nzblood.co.nz or phone 0800 448 325.”

In Howick every fourth week from Monday to Friday at The Picton Centre, 120 Picton Street.

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