BENDIGO Blood Donor Centre wants more than just the red stuff from its donors. The bank is seeking out extra plasma donations, to meet a growing need across Australia.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service group account manager Shae Burns said plasma was vital for so many people with all sorts of illnesses.
The Bendigo bank is seeking to reach a record number of donations during Plasma Awareness Week.
Plasma is the yellow, liquid portion of blood, making up about half the volume of what flows through a person's veins.
It contains proteins which can be used to treat a range of conditions.
Demand for plasma has increased in Australia by about 10 per cent each year.
Ms Burns said the Blood Bank attributed this rise to improvements in the detection of some health conditions, an aging population and a high standard of care in Australia.
"Sometimes people think donating blood's just about the red stuff. We want to let people know there's yellow stuff, and it's just as important," Ms Burns said.
"Hence why we're promoting the yellow stuff today - plasma - because there's a rising need.
"The demand keeps going up so we need to ensure patients get the product they need, so we're encouraging more and more people go give plasma a go."
The Bendigo Blood Donor Centre held a Plasma Party on Tuesday to encourage more plasma donations.
It aimed for a record of 60 plasma donations. Ms Burns said the centre was on track to reach the number by closing time.
Plasma can be used to treat conditions like cancer, bleeding disorders, immune and neurological conditions and burns.
Bendigo Blood Donor Centre has 100 plasma donation appointments available in the coming fortnight.
Donors can give plasma every two weeks. A machine draws blood from the arm during donation, before separating plasma from the blood.
Appointments take about 1.5 hours.
More information at: donateblood.com.au/
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