Blood donation sessions will now help make medicines for rare diseases

Blood donations in Cambridge will now help make immunoglobulin to save even more lives.

Blood donations in Cambridge will now help make immunoglobulin to save even more lives. - Credit: NHS Blood and Transplant

From May 10, every blood donation session in Cambridge will now help make a medicine that will save even more lives. 

Donors will not notice any changes to their donation and their red blood cells will continue to be used as normal. 

However, when their blood is taken away for routine processing, the blood plasma will now be separated out and used to make a specialist medicine. 

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: “This is great news for donors and great news for the NHS. 

Blood donations in Cambridge will now help make immunoglobulin to save even more lives.

Blood donations in Cambridge will now help make immunoglobulin to save even more lives. Pictured is immunoglobulin medicine being infused into a patient. - Credit: ID8 Photography

“Now, every single blood donation session in Cambridge will be able to provide plasma medicines to benefit the NHS.” 

The plasma contains antibodies which fight infections. The antibodies will be concentrated into immunoglobulin, a medicine which boosts or stabilises the immune system of people with immune disorders. 

The medicine is expensive and demand has led to international supply pressure, so recovering the plasma will help bolster supplies to the NHS. 

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To become a blood donor, you can register and book an appointment online, by calling 0300 123 23 23, or by downloading the GiveBloodNHS app. 

Blood donations in Cambridge will now help make immunoglobulin to save even more lives.

Blood donations in Cambridge will now help make immunoglobulin to save even more lives. Pictured is plasma that has been separated from red blood cells. - Credit: Mark Waugh Manchester Press Photography Ltd