A new plasma donor machine is set to enable more women to donate their plasma to help others and which it has also been revealed an Ealing woman has been named as the joint top donor.
The London Plasma Donor Centre, based in Twickenham is set for a major boost with its new machine that is able to operate to more heights and sizes that will allow it to increase the number of donations.
Previously, only around 5% of the 1,900 donors were female as previously, a woman of around average height at 5ft 4ins tall had to weigh 12 stone 8lbs to make a donation. Now, a woman who is 5ft 4ins tall only needs to weigh 9 stone to make a donation.
Christina Leaver, Twickenham Plasma Donor Centre manager, said: “Our new plasma donation machines are female friendly, enabling almost twice as many women to save lives by giving plasma. We know some women were disappointed because we had to turn them away before. Now, more people than ever can donate.”
Kim Chadwick, 65, from Ealing, has given 16 donations so far, making her joint highest.
Kim, who works in accounts at an electrical wholesaler, said: “I go down every two weeks. It doesn’t hurt and the people are lovely. You never know what’s around the corner so all the time I can do it, I will do it, because even if I just help one person’s life, I will be over the moon. To anyone thinking of trying it, I’d say it’s not painful, the staff look after you, and to me it’s a relaxing half hour – it’s lovely. I know they need more donors because we’ve had imports only, so I’d say to anyone out there just try it, especially now more women than ever can donate.”
The plasma will be used to make immunoglobulin, an antibody-rich medicine which strengthens or stabilises the immune system of people with rare disorders.
Each year, around 3,900 people from Greater London are treated with immunoglobulin, for disorders such as Primary Immunodeficiency, Guillain–Barré syndrome, and autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.
England relied on imported immunoglobulin for more than 20 years as a precaution against vCJD but the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said last year that UK plasma donation can again be used for immunoglobulins.
To register to donate plasma, click here.