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COVID-19

COVID-19

septembre 8, 2021

During the early months of the pandemic, many people heard the word “plasma” for the first time. Studies were being conducted on the efficacy of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19. Article after article was written about this potential treatment. 

Now that more than a year has passed, plasma is not in the headlines nearly as much as it once was. However, the need for it has not gone away. In this blog, we’ll be unpacking the true impact that the pandemic has had on plasma donations. 

What Is Plasma?

Before we get into how COVID-19 has impacted plasma donations, we first need to explain exactly what plasma is and differentiate between the types of plasma donations. 

Plasma is a yellowish liquid component of blood that contains hundreds of important proteins. Convalescent plasma is the plasma that is collected from an individual who has recovered from a virus. Source plasma, on the other hand, is plasma that is collected from healthy donors through a process called plasmapheresis. Source plasma donations are used to manufacture life-saving therapies for patients living with autoimmune disorders, immunodeficiencies, and blood disorders. 

The types of donations that are now in high demand are source plasma donations and recovered plasma donations, which is the plasma collected from whole blood donations. 

Why Is Plasma Donation Important?

Patients with rare and chronic disorders rely on source plasma donations to receive the treatments they need to live healthy and productive lives. Because the medical products that are manufactured from plasma are treatments, not cures, these patients will oftentimes need to receive them for the rest of their lives.

By voluntarily donating source plasma, you can help change someone else’s life for the better. 

How Plasma Donations Have Been Impacted By COVID-19

Even though the pandemic helped spread awareness about plasma, donations have been negatively impacted by social distancing, cleaning procedures, and fewer donors visiting centres. In fact, global plasma collections were down 15% in 2020, according to the Marketing Research Bureau. 

Given the fact that the global demand for plasma-derived medicines is rising by 6-8% every year, this trend is extremely concerning. Patients will start to feel the impact of this decline in donations in the coming months, as it takes anywhere from seven to 12 months to manufacture plasma into life-saving products. 

Like many sectors, the plasma industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In order for immunocompromised patients to receive the treatments they need, donors will need to start giving plasma at the same levels they were pre-pandemic. 

If you’re an eligible plasma donor, you can make a big difference in someone else’s life by consistently donating plasma. Book your next appointment at a centre near you today. 

COVID-19

avril 21, 2021

29.04.2021

As of Saturday, May 1st, our Saskatoon plasma collection centre will be reopening. Two inspections were performed at our centre on April 22nd and April 29th, and the Saskatoon Health Authority’s Medical Officer of Health has deemed our facility to be safe. 

Precautionary Actions and Safety Measures

On top of our regular cleaning process, additional cleaning of our entire facility was performed on April 23rd. All CPR staff were tested for COVID-19 at least once (some were tested twice) and no new cases have been identified. As an added precaution, we decided to wait a few additional days to reopen our centre so that by the time our centre reopens there will be over 14 days since the last positive case at our centre was identified. The last positive case at our Saskatoon centre occurred on April 16th.

To ensure donor and staff safety while continuing to help create important life-saving therapies for patients who require them, we’ve also decided to introduce new measures. Donors will undergo additional screenings at the entrance of our Saskatoon centre, we’ve switched over to an electronic sign-in process for donors, and we’ve invested in upgraded PPE for our staff. 

How Donor Compensation and Status Will Be Impacted

Since our Saskatoon centre has been closed for seven days, many donors will lose their status and fall back to the Orange level. This is something that will automatically be done by our computerized system. We don’t want our donors to miss out on well-deserved compensation, so from Saturday, May 1st to Saturday, June 5th, all donors will receive $60 for their second donation of the week. This is the same amount of compensation you’d receive as a Gold level donor ($90 for the week for five weeks). During this time, donors will have to build back their status. Our regular compensation scheme will resume during the week of June 6th. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time and hope to see you at our Saskatoon centre soon

23.04.2021

Temporary Closure of Saskatoon Center

During the week of April 12, COVID-19 was detected in individuals who were present in our Saskatoon facility on Quebec Avenue. We have been in contact with the Saskatchewan Health Authorities (SHA) and out of an abundance of caution the plasma collection centre will be closed for the rest of this week or until the Medical Officer of Health ensures the health and safety of our staff and donors. During this period all our staff members will be tested for COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, this is the first occurrence of this nature in any of our facilities. We will reopen when we are satisfied that it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we would like to reassure all of our donors who had appointments scheduled during this shut-down, that their status and bonuses will not be impacted by these cancelled appointments. We will also ensure that our staff do not suffer financially during this period. Plasma saves lives. The patients who need our products to survive are some of the most vulnerable in the world. We will work as hard as we can to reopen so that we can continue this important work together. Additional updates will be provided via email and on our website as more information becomes available. Thank you.

21.04.2021

On April 21 the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) notified Canadian Plasma Resources that they have identified three (3) cases of positive COVID-19 among our employees in the past week. The individuals last worked at CPR’s Saskatoon location on April 10, 13 and 16 respectively. By definition when two or more individuals with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 (for whom the Medical Health Officer has determined that transmission likely occurred within a common non-household setting) an outbreak exists.
Our staff follow CPR’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Response Plan which utilizes risk assessment published by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for the management of close contacts of confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 occurring in Canadian Plasma Resources facilities. Following COVID-19 Infection Prevention Guidelines in our plan ensures that risk of contacts at CPR level will be assessed at either “Medium” or “low” levels which is essential for continuity of our operation and minimizing risks to staff and donors.  

13.01.2021

Over the past months, CPR has been continually reviewing Public Health guidelines in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We have been making appropriate changes to our Centres as needed, and the safety of our staff and Donors remains our top priority.

In both our Saskatoon and Moncton Centres, approved face coverings or masks are mandatory. We ask that Donors wear their masks properly and keep them on the entire time they are in the Centres for the safety of our staff and other Donors.

Our Centre in Moncton operates with a New Brunswick COVID-19 Operational Plan for Workplaces in effect. This written plan includes relevant safety and hygiene procedures, physical distancing requirements, and daily active screening for staff among other precautionary protocols.

CPR continues to monitor Public Health for the most up-to-date recommendations in order to provide the safest environment possible for everyone who visits our Centres.

01.09.2020

Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve continually revised our policies to reflect the current status of the virus in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. As of Tuesday, September 1st, the following policies went into effect:

  1. It is no longer necessary for donors to wear gloves when they visit our centres. We request that donors still use hand sanitizer when they enter our plasma donation centres. 
  2. Saskatoon donors are STRONGLY recommended to use a face covering when they are in our centre. Wearing masks is still mandatory for plasma donors at our Moncton location. 
  3. We ask that donors refrain from walking around, speaking with other donors, and talking on their phones when they are in our centres as an added safety measure.
07.06.2020

Dear Plasma Donors in Moncton,
As per government order, New Brunswickers must wear a face covering to enter buildings open to the general public, starting Tuesday June 9th.
Please note as result it will be mandatory for all donors to wear a face covering in the CPR facilities.

19.04.2020

Dear Valued Donors,

Effective today, CPR updated the eligibility criteria for plasma donors as follows: 

  • If you have been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19, you will not able to donate for 28 days after complete resolution of symptoms
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has been ill with this virus, you will not be able to donate for 28 days after your last contact.
  • If you have travelled internationally or inter-provincially within Canada, you will not be able to donate for 28 days after your return.
  • If you have participated in a social or recreational gathering of more than 50 people or more, you will not be able to donate for 28 days after the gathering date.
05.04.2020

Dear Valued Plasma Donors,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Watch this video to learn how to make a homemade mask: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPx1yqvJgf4&feature=youtu.be

29.03.2020
  • We are asking donors & staff who have travelled internationally to any country, or inter-provincially within Canada to avoid the plasma donation centres for 14 days after their return. This restriction applies only to those who travelled, not to other household members.
  • ONLY prospective donors will be allowed in the center. No Children, family members or friends.
  • Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer lockers to donors at this time. We kindly ask donors to keep this in mind. 
  • Remove all communal objects such as magazines, snacks and energy bars throughout the center. Snacks and Bars will be with the reception staff (like juice boxes) and can be handed to donors upon request 
23.03.2020
  • Asking staff to stay home if they do not feel well.
  • Asking staff who have travelled internationally to any country, to avoid plasma donation for 14 days after their return. This restriction applies only to those who travelled, not to other household members.
  • NEW: Asking staff not to participate in any social or recreational gathering of more than 10 people or more.
  • Asking staff to wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and use approved hand sanitizer.
  • Asking staff to follow proper cough and sneeze etiquette (cough or sneeze into upper sleeve or tissue, not the hands).
  • Asking staff to avoid close contact with people who are sick outside of the centre.
  • NEW: Asking staff to wear protective gloves in all areas and all times at work.
  • NEW: Asking staff in the donation room and screening area to wear masks and/or protective face shields while interacting with donors.  
  • Asking staff to refrain from touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed/unsanitized hands.
  • Asking staff not to be shaking hands or hugging/kissing when meeting someone.
  • Asking staff to strengthen cleaning and sanitizing practices. In addition to our already stringent daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures, staff have increased the frequency of cleaning in the waiting area, screening rooms and donation rooms. Staff have always disinfected equipment with antimicrobial solutions that match or exceed industry requirements. Staff are regularly sanitizing the chairs between donations to ensure the health and safety of all donors.
  • Asking staff to implement additional cleaning protocols for the reception and waiting areas as well as other frequently touched areas such as doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, faucets, sinks, and tabletops.
  • Asking staff to follow more restricted interactions with donors going forward. For example, our staff will try to avoid touching donor ID cards. If they have to touch donor ID cards, they will disinfect them.
  • NEW: Asking staff to practice social distancing at work and avoid all non-essential interactions with other staff.

For Donors

  • Asking donors who have traveled internationally to any country, to avoid plasma donation for 14 days after their return. This restriction applies only to those who traveled, not to other household members.
  • NEW: Asking donors who have been in close contact (example: living with) with someone who has been ill with the COVID-19 to avoid plasma donation for 14 days after their contact.
  • NEW: Asking donors who have participated in any social or recreational gathering of more than 50 people or more to avoid plasma donation for 14 days after their participation.
  • Asking donors who have flu symptoms such as cough and fever, to book their appointment 7 days after cessation of symptoms.
  • Asking donors to make an appointment online or by phone before arriving at our centre.
  • If wait times do happen to arise, donors might be asked to wait in their vehicles and will be called in for their appointment as an extra safety precaution.
  • Asking all donors to use our hand sanitizer stations conveniently placed at the entrance. We urge all visitors to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds regularly, as the CDC recommends.
  • NEW: Asking donors to wear protective gloves provided to them at reception while they are in the centre.
  • Restriction on the total number of people who can be in each enclosed area at the plasma centre (Moncton= No more than 10 people, Saskatoon= No more than 25 people)
  • Asking donors to practice social distancing during their visit and Rearranging the operating donation beds that allows donors to be more than 2 meters away from each other in the donation room.      
  • NEW: Asking donors to keep their face away (look the opposite side) when our phlebotomists are doing venipuncture.
  • Reducing ratio of donors to staff so the plasma donation procedure will be smoother and the wait time in the centre will be reduced.
  • Measure the temperature of every donor as part of the routine donor screening process.
  • Assessing every donor for any changes in their health since their last donation.
  • NEW: Asking donors to report a subsequent diagnosis of COVID-19 as soon as possible to the Canadian Plasma Resources.

For Staff

  • Asking staff to stay home if they do not feel well.
  • Asking staff who have travelled internationally to any country, to avoid plasma donation for 14 days after their return. This restriction applies only to those who travelled, not to other household members.
  • NEW: Asking staff not to participate in any social or recreational gathering of more than 10 people or more.
  • Asking staff to wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and use approved hand sanitizer.
  • Asking staff to follow proper cough and sneeze etiquette (cough or sneeze into upper sleeve or tissue, not the hands).
  • Asking staff to avoid close contact with people who are sick outside of the centre.
  • NEW: Asking staff to wear protective gloves in all areas and all times at work.
  • NEW: Asking staff in the donation room and screening area to wear masks and/or protective face shields while interacting with donors.  
  • Asking staff to refrain from touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed/unsanitized hands.
  • Asking staff not to be shaking hands or hugging/kissing when meeting someone.
  • Asking staff to strengthen cleaning and sanitizing practices. In addition to our already stringent daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures, staff have increased the frequency of cleaning in the waiting area, screening rooms and donation rooms. Staff have always disinfected equipment with antimicrobial solutions that match or exceed industry requirements. Staff are regularly sanitizing the chairs between donations to ensure the health and safety of all donors.
  • Asking staff to implement additional cleaning protocols for the reception and waiting areas as well as other frequently touched areas such as doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, faucets, sinks, and tabletops.
  • Asking staff to follow more restricted interactions with donors going forward. For example, our staff will try to avoid touching donor ID cards. If they have to touch donor ID cards, they will disinfect them.
  • NEW: Asking staff to practice social distancing at work and avoid all non-essential interactions with other staff.
21.03.2020

Dear Valued Blood Plasma Donors; 

The Saskatchewan government added new measures to the state of emergency and as a result we’ve decided to introduce a new rule at our Saskatoon centre. Effective immediately, a maximum of 25 people will be permitted in each enclosed area of our blood establishment in Saskatoon.

To make this change as smooth as possible and eliminate wait times, we ask that donors make an appointment online or by phone before arriving at our centre. If wait times do happen to arise while this rule is in place, donors will be asked to wait in their vehicles and will be called in for their appointment as an extra safety precaution.

We are continually looking at ways to support our donors, staff, the community as well as those who are in need of plasma-derived products and will keep you updated as things evolve.

20.03.2020

Dear Valued Donors,

As a result of the state of emergency that was announced by the Government of New Brunswick, we’ve decided to introduce a new rule at our Moncton centre. Going forward, a maximum of 10 people will be permitted in each enclosed area of our blood establishment in Moncton.

We’d like to thank all our donors for their patience and cooperation during this difficult time. The need for plasma never goes away for patients with rare and chronic conditions, and we are determined to continue to provide lifesaving therapies to them while also keeping our donors safe. 

To make this change as smooth as possible and eliminate wait times, we ask that donors make an appointment online or by phone before arriving at our centre. If wait times do happen to arise while this rule is in place, donors will be asked to wait in their vehicles and will be called in for their appointment as an extra safety precaution.

Canadian Plasma Resources is remaining open during the response to COVID-19 as we fall under the category of functioning critical infrastructure. Blood and plasma donation centres have a special responsibility to continue operations since people rely on these services to maintain their health. PM Trudeau outlined the importance of continuing to donate during the COVID-19 pandemic yesterday. As the only Health Canada Licensed Blood Establishment in the provinces of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan that remunerates donors for their time, we will be continuing to provide compensation during this time period. 

17.03.2020

Dear Valued Plasma Donor,

We know you may have questions and concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of our staff, donors, and community, Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) will continue to monitor the situation closely through information shared by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other government and health agencies around the world in order to keep everyone safe and well informed. Should the agency’s recommendations change we will act immediately to keep donors safe.

Health care and pharmaceutical manufacturing sectors are considered part of a nation’s critical infrastructure. Your plasma donation is essential to patients that rely on plasma-derived therapies. As such, we have decided to keep our CPR centres open for continued donations so we can continue to help deliver these life-saving therapies. We urge all healthy eligible donors to book and keep appointments. The need for plasma is constant. 

We have put measures in place to help ensure our donation centres remain islands of wellness within Canada’s health system. They are NOT places where sick people gather.

To give you peace of mind, we want to remind you that CPR has set the highest standard for cleanliness in the industry. Our staff is trained on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), proper lab hygiene, and Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG). We have also implemented some other precautionary measurements in an effort to follow the necessary social distancing guidelines at our plasma centres:

  • We’ve rearranged the operating donation beds to have one non-operating bed in between. Now donors will be more than 6 feet away as per recommendations.
  • We’ve limited the number of individuals in the donor-specific areas of the building to below 50 persons throughout the day.
  • We will have more restricted interactions with donors going forward. For example, our staff will try to avoid touching donor ID cards. If they have to touch donor ID cards, they will disinfect them. Additional cleaning protocols have also been implemented for the reception and waiting areas as well as other high-touch areas such as doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, faucets, sinks, and tabletops.
  • We’ve reduced the ratio of donors to staff so the plasma donation procedure will be smoother and the wait time in the centre will be reduced.

Additionally, the CPR staff will be following the procedures noted below:

  • They will measure the temperature of every donor as part of the routine donor screening process.
  • They will assess every donor for any changes in their health since their last donation.
  • Our team members will stay home if they do not feel well or if they travelled internationally.
  • Staff will wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds & use approved hand sanitizer.
  • Proper cough and sneeze etiquette (cough or sneeze into upper sleeve or tissue, not the hands) will be followed.
  • They will avoid close contact with people who are sick outside of the centre.
  • They will refrain from touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed/unsanitized hands.
  • Staff members will not be shaking hands or hugging/kissing when meeting someone.

If you have any questions about donating, please contact centre management. 

Every day, thousands of people with rare and chronic diseases rely on the therapies produced from the plasma we collect. Thank you in advance for your continued support and ongoing donations. Now more than ever, we need your donations!

13.03.2020

Dear Valued Plasma Donors,

We are writing to share our commitment to fighting COVID-19 and to assure all our stakeholders that we are following recommended safety protocols that have been provided by competent authorities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure health and safety of our donors and employees.

Given the strict screening procedures in place for plasma donors and the established processes of virus inactivation and removal during the manufacturing of plasma-derived products, COVID-19 is not a concern for the safety of plasma protein therapies manufactured from source plasma.

We are confident that COVID-19 will not significantly impact operations at CPR and our generous donors. However, as a measure of abundant caution, we have set a detailed business continuity plan to mitigate any risks:

1.       As of Mar 14th Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) is asking anyone who has travelled internationally to any country, to avoid plasma donation for 14 days after their return. This restriction applies only to those who travelled, not to other household members.

2.     CPR is requesting donors with flu symptoms such as cough and fever to stay at home for 7 days after cessation of symptoms.

3.       We have strengthened our cleaning and sanitizing practices and are strictly implementing the CDC’s guidelines. In addition to our already stringent daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures, we have increased the frequency of cleaning in our waiting area, screening rooms and donation rooms. We are and have always disinfected our equipment with antimicrobial solutions that match or exceed industry requirements. We are regularly sanitizing the chairs between donations to ensure health and safety of all donors.

4.       As an additional precaution, we encourage all donors to use our hand sanitizer stations conveniently placed throughout the centre. We urge all visitors to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds regularly, as the CDC recommends.

We are continuously monitoring this situation and if there are any changes requiring further communication, we will be sure to inform you. Thank you for being part of the CPR donor family. Wishing you all good health.

If you have any questions or concerns please reach us at info@giveplasma.ca

Resources

To receive the most recent information regarding COVID-19, check the following websites:

Centers for Disease Control Prevention:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals.html

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA):

https://www.pptaglobal.org/23-advocacy/access-to-care/1057-covid-19

https://www.pptaglobal.org/media-and-information/ppta-statements/1055-2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-and-plasma-protein-therapies

https://www.pptaglobal.org/media-and-information/ppta-statements/1059-a-note-to-plasma-donors-on-the-coronavirus

COVID-19

février 19, 2021

December 9th, 2020 was a day we’d all been waiting for since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of our lives. It was the day that Health Canada finally approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Since then, Health Canada has also approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

While the approval of these vaccines is very exciting, a lot of misconceptions have come about with this news. This includes rumours surrounding donor eligibility after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here’s a look at how the coronavirus vaccine will actually affect plasma donation.

Misconceptions About the COVID-19 Vaccine and Plasma Donation

The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a negative impact on plasma donations, with some plasma collectors reporting significant declines in collections due to social distancing requirements and other restrictions. Given the fact that the manufacturing process for plasma-derived medicines is so complex and can take anywhere from 7-12 months, this decline is very concerning. Any decrease in plasma collections ultimately impacts patients’ ability to receive the therapies they rely on.

On top of the decline in donations, there have also been rumours circulating that claim that people who have received either the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine will no longer be eligible to donate source plasma. This rumour is not true. It does, however, have the potential to further impact the production of life-saving plasma treatments.

How the COVID-19 Vaccine Will Affect Source Plasma Donations

Receiving the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will have no bearing on your eligibility status as a plasma donor. You will still be able to donate regular source plasma just as you usually would. Your donations will also still be used to create therapies for patients with rare and chronic conditions.

All in all, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will, in fact, not have any impact on regular source plasma donations. With the reported declines in plasma collection, every person’s donations, whether they are vaccinated or not, matter more than ever before. Book your next plasma donation appointment today to help ensure a secure supply of source plasma for patients who need it.

COVID-19

janvier 5, 2021

Plasma donation is an incredible process that is responsible for the creation of several life-altering therapies. Millions of people around the world donate plasma every year, and the highly controlled, clinical environments where plasma donations take place are required to abide by strict regulatory requirements to keep donors safe. That being said, there are new safety concerns that have arisen for plasma donors since the arrival of COVID-19.

At Canadian Plasma Resources, we’ve continually revised our precautionary measures to reflect the current status of COVID-19. Without further ado, here’s how we’ve altered the plasma donation process at our centres to keep donors safe during this unprecedented time.

Step 1: Registering

The registration portion of the donation process is where we confirm the eligibility of new donors and perform preliminary health checks. For first-time plasma donors, the registration process typically takes 25 minutes, and during this time they:

·  Present valid identification

·  Complete a questionnaire

·  Review educational material

·  Review the consent form

·  Undergo preliminary blood pressure and temperature checks

This process gets easier and faster for return donors, who usually only spend 10 minutes in registration. To minimize contact between donors and staff and ensure safe physical distancing, we’ve put plexiglass barriers at our reception desks and asked donors not to enter our centres more than five minutes before their appointment time. We’ve also increased the frequency with which we clean donor folders and our staff now wear gloves at all times.

Step 2: Screening

To ensure donors are in good health and eligible to give plasma, all of our donors undergo a screening prior to donating. Similarly to the registration process, first-time donors spend approximately 25 minutes being screened while return donors spend roughly 10 minutes being screened. Donors undergo a physical examination, review registration information with a medical professional, participate in a question and answer session, and confirm consent when being screened.

All of our screening staff are required to wear masks during this stage of the plasma donation process. They also diligently clean all of the equipment in our screening rooms after every screening.

Step 3: Donating Plasma

Once a donor has been given the green light to donate, they are escorted to a donor bed, prepped for donation, and connected to an apheresis machine. All of the beds in our donation halls are spread apart so that donors can safely give plasma six feet away from one another. During the venipuncture procedure, where staff access a donor’s vein in order to subsequently extract plasma via plasmapheresis, donors are asked to breathe away from staff members to avoid close contact. We’ve also asked our donors to refrain from walking around, speaking with other donors, and talking on their phones when they are in our donation halls.

Donors are continuously monitored by staff during plasmapheresis to ensure everything is going smoothly. When they are finished with plasmapheresis, which usually takes 50 minutes to complete, the beds and apheresis machines that were used are thoroughly cleaned.

Step 4: Relaxing

The last part of the plasma donation process involves relaxing, enjoying snacks and refreshments in our waiting rooms, and scheduling your next appointment. To minimize contact, we’ve moved all snacks behind our reception desks. Donors now have to ask reception staff for snacks and refreshments.

All seating in our waiting rooms has been set up for physical distancing. We’ve added signage to split up our waiting rooms and minimize the amount of cross traffic. One side is now designated for donors who have just been registered while the other side is for donors who have just finished donating or are waiting to donate.

Keeping our donors and staff safe has always been our top priority at Canadian Plasma Resources, and we will continue to do everything in our power to make everyone feel comfortable. Giving plasma is more important now than ever before, and together we can help provide vulnerable patients with the treatments they need. Book your next appointment today! 

COVID-19

septembre 25, 2020

It’s officially been over half a year since the world went into lockdown and COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. A lot has happened since then, and we’ve all had to adapt to the social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitation practices that are required during this unprecedented time. We’ve also learned a lot more about the nature of this novel coronavirus, but with that said, we’re still a long way away from finding a vaccine. To date, convalescent plasma remains at the forefront of potential treatment options that can be made readily available.

In today’s blog, we’ll be unpacking what early convalescent plasma studies have revealed about its efficacy against COVID-19.

What Is Convalescent Plasma?

Convalescent plasma is the term used for plasma, the yellow, protein-rich component of blood, that is collected from an individual who has recovered from a virus. It is a treatment method that has been used during epidemics for more than 110 years, and the scientific community has been exploring the viability of it since the emergence of COVID-19.

The idea behind convalescent plasma therapy as a potential treatment for COVID-19 is that individuals who have recovered from the virus now have an acquired immunity to it due to the presence of virus-specific antibodies in their plasma. These antibodies are specifically designed to fight the pathogen, and when they are transferred from recovered patients to sick patients, they provide them with passive immunity.

Emerging Evidence of Convalescent Plasma Efficacy for COVID-19

During the early days of the pandemic, a small study in China revealed that five critically ill COVID-19 patients who were treated with convalescent plasma all recovered after receiving treatment. Although no conclusive evidence could be drawn from this study, it was an early sign of hope, and since then numerous larger studies have been conducted.

One such study that has shown even more promise is Houston Methodist’s ongoing study of 350 patients that have been treated with convalescent plasma. This study tracked critically ill COVID-19 patients who were admitted to Houston Methodist’s system of eight hospitals over a period of 28 days from March 28th to July 6th. It measured the medical effectiveness of transfusing severely ill COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma by comparing them to a similar group of COVID-19 patients who did not receive treatment. 

The study found that therapies administered within 72 hours of hospitalization provided the most effective results and reduced mortality rates. Patients treated with convalescent plasma early in their illness were more likely to survive and recover than patients who did not receive treatments.

A Cautiously Optimistic Outlook

There are dozens of studies similar to the Houston Methodist study taking place worldwide, and Canadian researchers are leading the world’s largest convalescent plasma therapy trial for COVID-19, which involves more than 1,000 patients. While there is emerging evidence that convalescent plasma is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, it will take a while to generate sufficient data to confirm these findings. With that said, in due time results from prospective and well-controlled randomized trials will provide us with the answers we need.

At Canadian Plasma Resources, we’ve joined forces with world-leading plasma companies to help manufacture a potential treatment for COVID-19 and contribute to clinical trials that will help determine the efficacy of convalescent plasma. To learn more about how your plasma can potentially help COVID-19 patients, visit the COVID-19 program page on our website.

COVID-19

mai 26, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it, and finding a viable COVID-19 treatment will undoubtedly be one of the most important scientific discoveries made during our lifetime. One treatment that researchers have been exploring since COVID-19 came to light is using a plasma-derived therapy to help COVID-19 patients that are experiencing serious complications.

Several plasma-derived therapy alliances have been created in an attempt to find a treatment. With Canadian Plasma Resources centres being among the leading plasma collection facilities in Canada, we knew that joining the cause was well within our capabilities. Here’s how CPR is helping find a potential treatment for COVID-19.

The Scientific Community Coming Together

World-leading plasma companies have joined forces in an effort to accelerate the development of a potential treatment for COVID-19. This bold move is unlike anything the industry has seen before, and smaller institutions have been called on to join alliances.

The hope is that these collaborations will expedite the process of bringing a potential therapy to market and increase supply. Through this collaborative effort, scientists will also have the opportunity to leverage their expertise by utilizing work that participating companies already have underway.

How CPR Is Helping Find a Potential COVID-19 Treatment

Canadian Plasma Resources has joined leading plasma fractionators in North America and Europe to help develop a plasma-derived therapy for COVID-19. In order to develop said therapy, plasma containing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 will need to be collected from donors. This plasma will then be used in clinical trials and/or to manufacture a potential treatment.

How Donors Can Help

There are two types of plasma donations that may qualify for the programs Canadian Plasma Resources is involved in:

1. Convalescent Plasma Donations

One of the programs we’re participating in requires that donors have a prior COVID-19 diagnosis and that they provide the test results. Donors must wait 28 days after fully recovering from the virus to begin donating plasma. They must also meet the eligibility requirements to donate blood plasma. Convalescent plasma donations will be used in clinical trials and in the manufacturing of a potential treatment.

2. SARS-CoV-2 Tested Donations

All plasma donations made at Canadian Plasma Resources will be tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Plasma that contains COVID-19 antibodies will be used to manufacture a SARS-CoV-2 hyper immunoglobulin (HIg) therapy at a facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

Donors who are eligible for these programs will receive a bonus on top of their regular compensation. If your plasma is found to contain no COVID-19 antibodies, it will still be used to create life-saving therapies for patients with rare and chronic conditions.

COVID-19 has affected us all in one way or another, and if you’ve survived the disease, this is your opportunity to help those at risk do the same. Book your next appointment at Canadian Plasma Resources today and be on the right side of history.

COVID-19

avril 6, 2020

Life as we know it has drastically changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and navigating this new world can be a challenge, to say the least. Nobody knows how long this coronavirus pandemic will last or when the curve will start to flatten. Infectious disease experts are still learning the specifics of how exactly it is spread and government bodies are constantly updating their recommendations and policies.

We’ve entered unchartered territory, and that means everyone needs to make adjustments in their everyday life. In today’s blog, we’ll be providing guidance on how to handle scenarios you may find yourself in during the coronavirus pandemic:

Getting Supplies

Preparing for a pandemic of this proportion is important, but that doesn’t mean you need to stockpile every household item you can get your hands on. Here are the essentials you should supply yourself with:

  • EPA-approved disinfectants
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-perishable goods (canned foods, dried goods)
  • Frozen goods
  • Trash bags
  • Laundry detergent

Necessary Outings

The Government of Canada is recommending that people practice physical (social) distancing as much as possible. With that said, you’ll likely need to go to the grocery store or run other necessary errands at some point. Here’s how you should handle outings during the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Have a Plan in Place

The fewer people going in and out of your household, the better. You should designate one person to be the household errand-runner to minimize outside exposures. Also, have a disinfecting station set up in a low-traffic area where the errand-runner can sanitize the items they are bringing into your home. 

2. Be Cautious and Prepared When You’re Out

When you’re in public you’ll want to practice physical distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people. Bring along an EPA-approved disinfectant and wipe down the handles of carts and baskets you’ll be touching. Wash and/or sanitize your hands as frequently as you can and avoid touching your face.

3. Practice Good Hygiene When You Get Back

When you return to your residence, you’ll want to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Make use of your disinfecting station, and sanitize all the items you have purchased. All produce should be thoroughly rinsed before being put in your kitchen. 

Everyday Chores

Even everyday chores like laundry and cleaning need to be altered in the wake of the novel coronavirus. We recommend doing the following:

Laundry

  • Thoroughly disinfect your laundry hamper.
  • Avoid shaking dirty laundry or tossing it between baskets.
  • Clothes, linens, and towels should be frequently washed on the warmest setting to remove germs.

Cleaning

  • Clean everything you touch, but especially high-touch areas like doorknobs, keys, keyboards, and your phone.
  • Items should be left wet for at least 3 minutes after using EPA-approved disinfectants.

Taking Care of Your Pets

There’s little evidence to support the fact that dogs and cats are susceptible to catching the coronavirus, but they can be carriers of the virus as a surface. If you want to play with your pet outside, maintain physical distance from others and don’t let people touch your pet. If you end up getting sick and don’t have anyone else to take care of your pet, wash your hands as frequently as possible.

Someone In Your Home Getting Sick

The majority of people who get COVID-19 will only have mild symptoms and they’ll be able to recover at home. They should only be brought to the hospital if they are at risk of getting seriously ill. These are the precautions you should be taking if you’re looking after a loved one that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 at home:

  • Consult with their doctor by phone or email.
  • Isolate the sick person in a separate room and ask them to use a different bathroom if you have one available.
  • Refrain from sharing items with them.
  • Wear gloves if you need to do their laundry.
  • If you have a facemask available, ask them to wear it.
  • Continue to frequently clean your home and wash your hands.

With these tips, we hope you’ll be able to better navigate life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, Canadian Plasma Resources will be remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are an eligible donor in good health, we ask that you book and keep your appointments. Donated plasma is essential to creating lifesaving therapies for patients living with rare and chronic conditions.

Source

Andrew, S. (2020). How to coronavirus-proof your home. CNN. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/03/health/coronavirus-tipsheets/coronavirus-proof-your-home/index.html

COVID-19

avril 3, 2020

The healing benefits of plasma are truly incredible, and the list of ailments this yellow liquid component of blood is capable of treating continues to grow. In recent days, researchers in the US and Canada have begun exploring the possibility of using convalescent plasma, plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered from COIVID-19, to treat individuals who are currently infected with the virus.  

There is no guarantee this treatment will work, but early studies have shown promise. Here’s everything you need to know about convalescent plasma therapy and how it is being used to help COVID-19 patients.

The History of Blood Plasma Products and Viral Infections

This is not the first time donated plasma from individuals who have recovered from viral infections has been used to treat newly infected patients. In fact, it is an approach that has been used for over a century. Blood plasma was used to treat patients during the 1918 flu pandemic and to treat measles in the 1930s. More recently, plasma therapy has been used to treat patients who have contracted SARS, Ebola, and H1N1 influenza.

A Promising Study in China

The first known case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China late last year. They subsequently had an outbreak in the city and Chinese doctors and researchers began testing experimental treatments. One of the treatments that was used in severe cases of COVID-19 was convalescent plasma transfusions. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the five COVID-19 patients that were treated with convalescent plasma in China have all since recovered, albeit to varying degrees.

Although no conclusive evidence can be drawn from this small scale study, it does raise hope. Of the five critically ill patients, who also suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and ranged from the age of 36 to 73, three have been discharged from the hospital and two are in stable condition following the treatment.

Why Convalescent Plasma Therapy Is Being Used

The effectiveness of plasma therapies in prior studies combined with the fact that there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 makes plasma a promising treatment option. Scientists are hoping that the virus-fighting antibodies contained in the plasma of recovered patients will help individuals currently afflicted with COVID-19 fight off the virus until they develop antibodies of their own. 

Only time will tell if convalescent plasma will be an effective and viable treatment option for patients with COVID-19, but the incredible healing properties of this bodily component are undeniable. At Canadian Plasma Resources, we’ve been long-time proponents of the healing abilities of human plasma, and we’ve committed ourselves to providing lifesaving therapies to patients with immune deficiencies and autoimmune conditions. Book an appointment at a CPR centre near you to help patients that rely on plasma when they need it most.