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What is source plasma?

Source plasma is collected from donors.

Source plasma collected at Canadian Plasma Resources are the raw material manufactured into life-saving therapies.

Source plasma collected at Canadian Plasma Resources is NOT used for transfusion.

Who needs source plasma?

Tens of thousands Canadian patients and millions around the world rely on therapies manufactured from source plasma. This include:

  • immune deficiencies.
  • autoimmune disorders.
  • respiratory disorders.
  • hemophilia.
  • liver disorders.
  • surgical bleeding.
  • burns and shock.

Some therapies can only be derived from human source plasma.

Why donate plasma?

Plasma donated by healthy donors can help others with serious medical needs.

Canada is dependent on other countries for plasma protein products. Those products are manufactured from paid donors in that US.

Because Canada is dependent on foreign sources, if there was a worldwide shortage of plasma or plasma protein therapies, the health and quality of life of many Canadian patients would be jeopardized.

By becoming a plasma donor, you can help Canada satisfy its own needs for plasma therapies.

Who can donate plasma at Canadian Plasma Resources?

Canadian Plasma Resources only accepts healthy donors who:

  • are between 17 and 68 years of age.
  • weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • have a permanent address within 100 kilometres of a Canadian Plasma Resources facility.
  • present valid photo identification, proof of address, social insurance card.

qualify to donate. This is determined by a process that includes a questionnaire, an interview, a medical examination and testing on two separate occasions within a 26-week period.

What can I expect on a typical donation day?

For your first visit, schedule two hours. Your next visit should take about one hour.

There are four steps in the donation process.

  • While registering, expect:
    • to be asked for valid identification
    • to read and fill out some paperwork
    • to undergo some preliminary health checks, such as having your blood pressure checked
  • During screening, you:
    • undergo a physical examination
    • meet with medical staff to review paperwork
    • have your questions answered
    • confirm you are consenting to donate
  • While donating, you are:
    • connected to a plasmapheresis machine
    • passing time by reading, watching TV or listening to music
    • monitored by medical staff.
  • After donating, you:
    • relax in the waiting room
    • enjoy refreshments
Is donating safe?


Plasmapheresis, like any other procedure, may have some associated risks. However, these risks are low and the procedure has minimal to no side effects.

Trained medical staff working at our facility are involved in every step of the donation process. Before you donate, they’ll explain the risks involved as well as the entire procedure of donating plasma.

The equipment is certified and sterile, so that your blood never makes contact with non-sterile environments.

Canadian Plasma Resources is licensed by Health Canada, the same body which regulates Canadian Blood Services. Health Canada inspects our facilities to ensure we comply with all national and international regulations.

What is plasmapheresis?

During plasmapheresis, a donor is connected to a specialized machine. A donor’s blood enters the machine where the plasma is separated from the other blood components, which are returned to the body.

The blood is always in a sterile environment. The volume of plasma removed during plasmapheresis depends on a person’s body weight.

Donors are monitored at all times by medical professionals trained in this process as well as in patient care and comfort.

What if I feel unwell?

Before donating, eat well and be well hydrated. Drink beverages that do not contain caffeine or alcohol.

Come in to donate when you:

  • feel well and rested.
  • have not consumed alcohol or smoked for eight hours.
  • are not on medication for infection.
  • have not had dental work in the past two days.

During your donation, medical staff will monitor your condition.

If you feel uncomfortable during the donation, alert the staff immediately so the donation can be stopped.

Canadian Plasma Resources is equipped with first aid kits and emergency medications. Staff is trained in CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation). We are located near a hospital should further intervention be required.

After donating, should you not feel well, contact Canadian Plasma Resources or your family doctor. In the case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.

How often can I donate?

Plasma regenerates in the human body in two days.

Individuals can donate plasma a maximum of twice in every 7 days period with a minimum 2 days apart at Canadian Plasma Resources.

How can I donate?
What if I test positive for a disease?

Your plasma will be tested for HIV, hepatitis A, B and C as well as syphilis and ParvoB19.

Should you test positive for one of these infections, you will be informed in a confidential manner by a physician or a physician substitute. It will be recommended you follow up with your family physician.

Anyone who is positive for HIV or hepatitis A, B or C cannot donate at Canadian Plasma Resources.

As part of Canadian regulations, public health agencies will also be informed. You will also be added to the National Donor Deferral Registry to prevent further donations from reactive donors.

Is plasma donation regulated?


In Canada, it is regulated under the Blood Regulations. This applies to Canadian Blood Services, Héma-Québec and private companies who collect plasma, such as Canadian Plasma Resources.

Canadian Plasma Resources is licensed by Health Canada to collect plasma for use in making plasma products

Ensuring that Canadians have access to safe blood has been the cornerstone of Health Canada’s response to the Krever Commission. The current regulations, adopted on October 23, 2014, complete the government’s response to the Krever Commission. Canada continues to be a world leader in blood safety, as recognized by the World Health Organization.

Can plasma donors be paid?


Canada currently relies on paid plasma donors.

To meet its plasma product needs, Canada depends on international manufacturers. These manufacturers secure their plasma using paid donors in the US. In fact about 80% of the plasma protein products distributed to the Canadian hospitals are sourced from paid donors. Health Canada says the U.S. regulations for plasma donation safety are as stringent as Canada’s.

In Canada, donors can be paid for plasma where provincial law allows.

Does paying plasma donors in Canada compromise safety?


Safety is ensured by the regulations set out in Canadian law.

The regulations apply to all plasma collection centres in Canada, whether they pay donors or not.

Regulations in Canada are now much stricter about who can donate and the testing required. This happened in response to the Krever Commission.

Also, there have also been scientific advancements in the testing and manufacturing of plasma products.

These advancements allow for earlier detection of viruses in donations so those donations can be removed from the system. Additionally viral inactivation and filtration steps during manufacturing of plasma protein products ensures safe, high-quality products are produced.

The Canadian Hemophilia Society and Health Canada state that not a single case of HIV or hepatitis B or C has been transmitted by plasma products in the last 20-plus years.

Does Canada collect enough plasma to meet its needs?


More than 2,000,000 litres of plasma is required every year to meet the need of Canadian patients for immunoglobulins, just one type of plasma therapy.

Just under 17 per cent of that need will be collected in Canada by Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec.

The other 83-plus per cent will be imported from the U.S.

Canada will import close to $1 billion worth of plasma protein products in 2017. That amount will increase each year.

As Canadian Blood Services said, “Part of operating a safe system is ensuring security of supply.”