Manchester hits 1,000 plasma for medicines donation milestone

Manchester Plasma Donor centre has reached the 1,000 plasma donations milestone, just two months after collections began.

The plasma will be used to make lifesaving medicines for people with immune diseases.

Donations started on 7 April, the first time dedicated plasma donations were held in more than 20 years.

People can register to donate by phone, calling 0300 123 23 23. The centre is at Plymouth Grove.

The 1,000th donation came from Tom Hibbs, aged 57, of Fallowfield.

He is married to Suzanne, has been one of the centre’s donor care supervisors for six years.

Tom is very keen to donate because 12 years ago his nephew Jack needed lifesaving transfusions.

He said: “I feel very privileged and proud to donate the 1000th donation. The staff here are amazing and make donating an absolute joy.”

Phil Carter-Graham, the donor centre manager, said: “We’ve had a great response from people here so far and there are another 270 people booked in to donate over the next week.

“Tom was always a regular blood donor and jumped at the chance to become a plasma for medicines donor when he found out that he would be able to save and improve lives every two weeks.”

He added: “Plasma is made into medicines called immunoglobulins.  The medicines save lives by boosting or correcting the immune system.

“Thousands of patients in the UK rely on these medicines but we rely on imports there’s an international shortage.

“Donating is something simple you can do to save a life. Please give plasma if you can. We especially need men, as they’re better able to donate.”

During plasma donation, the donor’s blood is circulated through a machine which separates out the plasma and returns the red blood cells to the donor.

A restriction on using plasma from UK donors was introduced in 1998, as one of the vCJD safety measures. This was lifted by the Government this year, following expert advice.

Plasma is being collected at 11 centres and will be supplied to NHS England for use in hospitals around the country.