Solihull patient supporting new appeal for plasma donors - The Solihull Observer

Solihull patient supporting new appeal for plasma donors

Solihull Editorial 24th Apr, 2023   0

THE NHS is holding its first ever ‘Plasma Donation Week’ as new figures show more than 1,000 new donors are needed.

More donors are needed to help people who needs medicine made from plasma for the rare incurable disorder Stiff Person Syndrome.

Plasma is made into a medicine called immunoglobulin.

It’s used to treat more than 50 diseases by strengthening or stabilising the immune system.

Starting today (Monday April 24) plasma donor recruitment events will be held across the city, in New Street, at Resort’s World, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and at the Home Office building.

The lighting at The Lantern at One Centenary Way, Paradise, will be turned blue, and there will also be support from Thrive Together Birmingham.

During donation, a machine gradually separates out up to 700mls of plasma from your blood.

Donation takes about 35 minutes and the whole visit – including questionnaires and snacks – takes around one hour 15 minutes.

Karen Howarth, aged 59, from Solihull, needs regular home infusions of immunoglobulin because she has an incurable autoimmune disorder, Stiff Person Syndrome.

Karen was diagnosed around 10 years ago after suffering muscle spasms, muscle stiffness, backpain, and fatigue.

She has received regular infusions of immunoglobulin ever since and currently gives herself a home infusion once a week.

Karen, a retired teaching assistant, who is married and has one son, is under the care of Heartlands Hospital.

She said: “It has badly affected my mobility. I have now progressed to the point where I need a mobility scooter.

“But I would have progressed to that point years ago if it wasn’t for the immunoglobulin.

“It basically changed my life. I would be far worse now without it.

“I would say to plasma donors ‘thank you very much you are lifesaving, literally’.”

Mark Bailey, manager of Birmingham Plasma Donor Centre, said: “Donating plasma is safe and easy – and it feels great to donate and provide life-saving medicines.

“We know most people haven’t heard of plasma donation but when they do find out about it, they want to save lives.”

Visit to register to donate.


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