A CAMPAIGN to 'join the donor pool,’ has been launched by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) asking people to donate plasma for medicines.

Plasma donation only restarted in April in Bolton after a gap of more than 20 years and few people know what plasma donation is.

Plasma is the light-yellow liquid part of the blood and takes water, salts and enymes through the body.

By the end of September, NHSBT will need about 1,200 more people donating plasma at their Bark Street centre. They currently only have 469 active plasma donors.

Donations the authority collects will be used to make antibody-based medicines called immunoglobulins for people with rare immune diseases, reaching hospitals from 2022.

Currently, the NHS depends entirely on imports of blood plasma from other countries – mainly the US – with around 17,000 people a year receiving these medicines. 

Last year, around 1,200 people received these medicines at hospitals in Greater Manchester, so plasma donation is vital to save lives.

The Bolton donor centre is among 10 other plasma donor centres across the country who are urging lifesaving donors to come forward.

Kim Douthwaite, Bolton Donor Centre manager, said: “After a gap of more than 20 years it’s understandable that not many people in Bolton and Greater Manchester know about plasma donation. 

“Now we need the public’s help to expand our pool of plasma donors and meet the targets which will help make England more self-sufficient in the supply of these lifesaving medicines. 

“We particularly want to hear from men because they’re more likely to be able to donate.

“Please support this campaign and donate plasma at our centre - you will save lives.”

To donate plasma, visit www.blood.co.uk/plasma or call 0300 123 23 23.