In New York, the city’s biggest medical center, it’s common to see a plasma donation box and a plasma drive.
The drive is a simple, inexpensive way for patients to donate blood, a service often reserved for the elderly.
But as more patients are dying from blood cancers and other diseases, many hospitals are turning to plasma donations.
That’s been a growing trend in recent years, and the number of donors in New Jersey and New York has doubled in the last two years, according to data from the American Society of Blood Banks.
The growth is expected to continue, said Rick Mihalko, CEO of the AHSB.
The rise in the number is due to both patients and hospitals’ efforts to educate and increase awareness about plasma donation, he said.
Miharko, who has been at the helm of the plasma drive for the past decade, said the drive can be a convenient way for people to donate without the risk of the drive being stopped.
In recent years the number has doubled at some hospitals in New England and in Pennsylvania, he noted.
For some patients, however, it can be frustrating to not know where their plasma is coming from.
For that reason, Mihanko said it’s important to ensure the patient is familiar with where the donor is located and that it’s not a matter of people getting confused.
In addition to donating blood, Muhalko said hospitals and clinics in New Hampshire are looking to help patients get their blood types verified.
And patients who have had blood transfusions or are using an anticoagulant are more likely to be tested for the disease and treated if they have a positive result, Mohalko added.
As for what to do if you can’t donate, Mayer said if you are unsure whether you have plasma, or are uncertain about the donation, you can visit the donation center and ask for a sample of blood.
You can also ask a physician or a blood bank to come and take your blood.
If your donation is accepted, you will receive a receipt with your blood donation.
If you have questions, call the plasma donation office at 1-866-5-LIFE or visit the AHCBC website at www.ahcbc.org.