Residents outraged by actions of plasma center donors

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Updated Thursday, May 26 at 9:16 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Neighbors say a Charlotte plasma center isn’t taking responsibility for the impact to their neighborhood and the actions of its clients, including medical waste, illegal parking, public urination and physical threats.

“This has really become an out of control problem. I don't feel safe, people have threatened us,” said Carly Dixon, who lives on Piedmont Street next to Talecris Plasma Resources.

Go to the street and you’ll find garbage bins still sitting out in front of some of the condos.

"It's not trash day today. Tuesday was trash day,” Dixon said. "It's the only way I can safely get out of our driveway."

Parking and driving problems, Dixon says, are caused by Talecris Plasma Resources customers parking everywhere, including in "no parking" zones. Neighbors say it’s not uncommon to see plasma center delivery trucks parked in the street and blocking traffic.

Speaking of trash, the chair a plasma center customer sat on Wednesday came from the trash. That brings up another sore spot for neighbors. Despite signs saying not to, plasma center customers loiter for hours in front of neighbors’ homes.

"This is every day this happens that someone is loitering out here,” said neighbor Chris Casey.

Loitering and littering.

Neighbors say bloody gauze bandages on the street and sidewalks come from plasma center customers, too.

"Not thrilled at all. It's disgusting,” Casey said.

Then, there's the public urination. Something neighbors say they've seen from plasma center customers.

Dixon says she's asked them to stop and has gotten threats in return. "They say things like, 'Do you want to mess with me?' or, explicit language, but it's very upsetting and I don't feel safe,” Dixon said. "The customers are threatening us and then the plasma center employees come out and ask why we are harassing their people."

Margaret Lamb's boyfriend works at Talecris and says she doesn't see it or its customers being bad neighbors. "I don't see where it's bad for the neighborhood. There are people going in there donating plasma who need the extra money,” Lamb said.

Talecris issued this statement Wednesday about neighbors’ concerns:

“Talecris develops and produces protein therapies for people who have rare, life-threatening diseases such as immune deficiencies, hemophilia and genetic emphysema. Our eleven protein therapies are derived from human plasma, so it is essential that donors continue to provide their plasma.

Because our mission is to save and enhance lives, we strive to be good community citizens, as well. We want to create an environment in which our donors and the local community feel good about the plasma donation process. We are concerned that several neighbors have expressed discontent about the donors’ behavior outside of our center, and we want to ensure that our presence in the community is viewed positively. We will review the concerns raised by neighbors near our center and determine how to effectively address them.”

Neighbors asked Charlotte DOT to limit the time clients could park on their street. On three occassions the city sent someone out to look over the situation, but didn't find anything that would warrant changes to how long people can park there.

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