Kiwis who rely on plasma donations are facing an uncertain future.
It comes as the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) says it needs 8,000 more people on its books by 2022 – If not, the service will not be able to meet demands.
Six-year-old Harry Mcphail has a condition called XLA, which means his body doesn’t make the antibodies to fight off antibacterial infections.
Diagnosed as an infant, he’s on a product made from plasma donations which are donated via the NZBS.
Plasma is extracted and used in trauma cases or for people with auto-immune deficiencies.
NZBS marketing manager, Asuka Burge told 1 NEWS that out of 110,000 blood donors, of those less than 10 per cent are plasma.
“Plasma demand is going up 12 per cent every year and that for us means we need to find 8000 more plasma donors in order to meet that demand,” she says.
At the current rate, it’s anticipated within two years there will be a shortage.
To become a plasma donor, people need to donate blood regularly and have good veins, and meet extra height and weight criteria.
“That’s why we're asking a lot of men, if possible, to step up and find out because they typically meet that criteria easily,” says Ms Burge.