Skip to content

blood plasma

blood plasma

January 4, 2023

What Does the Plasma Donation Process Involve?

Donating plasma is the only way to provide immunocompromised patients with the life-sustaining plasma protein therapies they need to live well-rounded lives. 

Before we dive into how plasma provides you with ample me-time to relax and recharge, it’s important to discuss the intricacies of the plasma donation process. 

Plasma donation is different from blood donation, even though it involves a similar process of blood extraction. Plasma is The key difference is that your blood is actually returned to you through a process known as plasmapheresis. 

What is Plasmapheresis?

A plasmapheresis machine safely collects plasma, the straw-coloured portion of your blood containing vital proteins and vitamins. The device carefully returns your blood back into your body, saving the plasma to be turned into plasma protein therapies. 

Plasma is converted into plasma protein therapies between 7-12 months after it’s extracted. During this time, the plasma is frozen to ensure that it remains fresh and usable. Through a process known as plasma fractionation, it’s converted into therapies that patients who lack proteins in their own plasma rely on to live healthy lives.

What is Plasma Used For? 

Plasma is used to treat patients with a variety of illnesses, conditions and ailments. From trauma victims to patients with immune deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, bleeding disorders and more, plasma is liquid gold that is often turned into life-sustaining pharmaceutical products, but can also be used for its clotting properties in emergency medical situations.

How Does Plasma Donation Give You Me-Time? 

Now that we’ve discussed how plasma is used to treat people in need and why, it’s time to highlight not only why you should donate, but why donating plasma is actually good for you!

Plasmapheresis takes approximately 50 minutes, giving you almost an hour to completely relax and unwind. As we mentioned earlier, plasmapheresis involves extracting plasma using a plasmapheresis machine, meaning that you’re connected to the machine for the entirety of the process. 

The process provides you with a rare opportunity to truly relax and unwind – there is nothing for you to do at this time but see the donation process through, meaning that you have 50 minutes of uninterrupted me-time.

We suggest bringing a book, listening to your favourite music, an audiobook, a podcast or watching a comfort TV show! The time can be as relaxing and restorative as you make it. 

Plus, not only do you get some well-earned me-time during the plasma donation process, the act of donating plasma is good for your health.

Studies show that acts of kindness – like doing good for others – can boost your happiness, make you feel connected to a social community and even help you to feel more positively about the world around you.

Why Should You Donate Over the Colder Months?

In winter, we know that it can be tempting to stay indoors and not leave your house when the weather turns cold! 

But patients who require plasma protein therapies to live healthy, well-rounded lives rely on donors year round. It takes 1,000 donors to supply enough plasma for one patient with haemophilia. This holiday season, consider the benefits that giving back offer you and the critical need of those who rely on your donations. Book an appointment at a centre near you today!

blood plasma

January 4, 2023

Plasma, the yellowish-golden component of blood containing vital proteins and vitamins, is used to treat patients who live with autoimmune conditions as well as victims of trauma in emergency situations. 

What Defines a Trauma Victim? 

Trauma victims are patients requiring urgent care for critical injuries and severe wounds. The most common categories of trauma resulting in fatalities range from car accidents to falls. Many survivors of trauma survive – the mortality rate is 20%, and this largely hinges on their post-trauma care. 

Why is Plasma Used to Treat Trauma Victims? 

Plasma is used to treat trauma victims because of its clotting properties. Plasma is separated from red blood cells and platelets (the other components of blood) during the plasmapheresis process. Plasma’s different components also have different shelf lives – when frozen, plasma is usable for up to a year, whereas red blood cells and platelets cannot be safely frozen. 

Plasma contains antibodies, clotting factors, and various proteins. Because of this, plasma can be used to treat trauma, shock and burn victims. 

One study found that, within a 30 day window, 76.8% of patients who received plasma survived, compared to 67% of patients who did not receive plasma and only received standard care. 

How Plasma is Used to Treat Trauma Victims

Plasma transfusions are used to treat a variety of trauma victims – even those in the NICU. 15% of NICU patients are treated with plasma, mostly to treat or prevent bleeding. 

For patients requiring blood transfusions after a massive injury, when they’ve suffered from extensive blood loss, aggressive plasma transfusions have been proven to help people survive!

Plasma transfusions boost blood clotting and volume, helping trauma and burn victims to prevent and treat shock. 

Why Donate Plasma?

In order to live healthy lives, people with immune deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, bleeding disorders, and more rely on plasma protein therapies. Plasma donors ensure that patients are able to receive the life-sustaining treatments that they need. Every donation helps! Book a plasma donation appointment at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre near you to help us help others.

blood plasma

December 31, 2022

Did you know that there are different types of plasma proteins? There’s globulin – which helps to support your immune system and blood clotting – and albumin, which provides amino acids to your body tissue. These two types of proteins – and their collection processes- are different. 

Source plasma is collected from donors to be turned into plasma protein therapies for immunocompromised patients and trauma victims. There is no replacement for source plasma – it can’t be manufactured in a lab and the only way for those in need to receive the plasma-protein therapies they require is for donors to donate plasma consistently. To learn more about how plasma is used to help others, keep reading! 

1. Plasma is used to treat immunocompromised patients. 

Plasma is extracted through a process known as plasmapheresis, in which the donor is connected to a plasmapheresis machine intravenously. The plasmapheresis machine withdraws all blood components, separating plasma from other blood cells and returning those cells to the body. The entire process takes 45-50 minutes to complete. You can read more about it here! Plasmapheresis separates the protein-rich plasma from the rest of the blood so it can be manufactured into live-saving therapies. 

2. It’s used to treat rare and chronic diseases. 

Plasma is used to treat over 80 different rare and chronic diseases. Patients who rely on plasma treatments often require those treatments for life, meaning that consistent donation is key to helping patients in need receive the treatments they require. It can take up to 1,200 donations to treat one patient for a year! That’s why it’s crucial to donate plasma consistently.

3. Plasma is used to treat trauma victims. 

Plasma is used to heal tissue with platalet-rich plasma therapy, otherwise known as PRP therapy. This is the most common treatment method for healing tissue with plasma due to injuries from everyday accidents.

Platelet—rich therapy involves injecting concentration of the patient’s platelets into the injured areas. These platelets aid in the body’s natural healing process. Growth factors stimulate the reparative cells produced by your body, helping it to heal.

Whether you’re looking to give back to others or make some extra cash (or both!) this holiday season, donating plasma is an effective way to do good for others while helping yourself. 

We’d like to extend a special shout out to our consistent donors in our plasma donation community. Your continued generosity is what makes the work that we do possible – helping patients in need to receive the treatments and care that they deserve! We look forward to seeing you come through our centre doors soon.

blood plasma

November 29, 2022

When you give back to others, you give back to yourself. Giving back to others has been proven to benefit your own mental health and well-being, and donating plasma is a perfect way to give back. 

The donating portion of the plasma donation process takes approximately 50 minutes, making it the perfect opportunity to get some me-time. With the busy holiday season, consider taking the time to give plasma to someone in need – while also taking care of yourself! 

Read on for more information on how giving plasma can be good for you! 

Why Give Back? 

Giving back comes with numerous health benefits. Some of the physical health benefits include: 

  • Lowering your blood pressure
  • Increasing your self esteem 
  • Helping to mitigate symptoms of depression
  • Decreasing problems with cognition
  • Lowering your stress levels 
  • Increasing your sense of happiness and well-being 

If you’re wondering why – and how – plasma donation, in particular, can boost your sense of happiness and well-being, we’re here to tell you! Participating in an altruistic act like donating plasma activates the pleasure regions in your brain, creating a “warm glow” feeling that is fueled by the release of serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. 

Donating Plasma and Giving Back 

An unexpected perk of donating plasma is that it can serve as an early preventative check for diseases! Because of the rigorous screening process that our donors go through, when you give back you actually take care of yourself by getting your vitals checked and assessed by our team of trained professionals. This can serve as early disease detection! 

Give Back this Holiday Season

If you’re looking for ways to give back this holiday season, book a plasma donation appointment today! You can safely donate plasma twice in a seven day period and earn up to $95/week for doing so. With the extra expenses of the holidays, donating plasma can be a great way to earn some extra cash during the season of giving. 

blood plasma

August 23, 2022

Whether you’re a new or returning plasma donor, or someone who is curious about giving plasma, you probably have some questions about the donation process. In this blog, we’re breaking down the do’s and don’ts of plasma donation so that you feel comfortable, prepared, and confident about donating. 

Things You Should Do Before Donating Plasma

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Aim to drink 6-8 cups of water prior to your appointment. Making sure that you’re adequately hydrated will help to ensure that your donation is accepted – when you’re hydrated, your veins are full and plasma is able to be easily separated. 

2. Eat a Nourishing Meal

One of the reasons that your donation could be deferred is due to low iron and protein levels. It’s in your best interest to eat an iron and protein-rich meal within four hours of your donation. An example of a meal that would meet your iron and protein needs would be a piece of cooked chicken or fish with a side of broccoli or leafy greens. 

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

To maximize your donation and ensure a smooth recovery, make sure that you are well rested prior to your appointment. Ideally, you should get eight hours of quality sleep. 

Things to Avoid Before Donating Plasma

Before donating plasma, there are a few foods, drinks, and activities that you should try to steer clear of. We’ve listed the key things to avoid below! 

1. Avoid Drinking Caffeine and Alcohol

It’s crucial that you don’t drink caffeine on the day of your appointment – from coffee, tea, matcha, an energy drink, or any other source. Caffeine can constrict your blood vessels, which can make it difficult to access a vein and return the non-plasma components of blood back into your body during the donation process.

Another beverage you should avoid is alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, and it can dehydrate you. It’s recommended that you avoid alcohol for 24 hours before you donate plasma, to help your body stay hydrated and healthy.  

2. Avoid Smoking

You shouldn’t smoke tobacco or cannabis at least eight hours prior to your appointment. Smoking tobacco increases your blood pressure, and if you smoke cannabis you will be deferred for at least a day. 

3. Avoid Fatty Foods

Eating fatty foods prior to your appointment can make your plasma cloudy and impact your blood test during the screening process, which could lead to you being deferred from donation. Avoid eating fatty foods, like pizza, chips, or french fries, on the day of your appointment. 

Why Donate Plasma? 

There is no replacement for source plasma – it can’t be manufactured in a lab, and it’s used to treat over 80 immune conditions and autoimmune diseases. Patients who require plasma-protein therapies rely on donors like you to show up consistently and donate quality plasma! 

At Canadian Plasma Resources, you can earn up to $400/month by consistently donating plasma twice per week. Book a plasma donation appointment at a centre near you to help others while also supplementing your income. 

blood plasma

May 31, 2022

Plasma, a yellowish liquid component of blood, has long been used as the starting material for therapies known as plasma products. Plasma products replace missing or deficient proteins in patients who have rare diseases. However, on occasion, donated blood plasma cannot be used to create these life-saving therapies, and the plasma must be discarded. 

If you’d like to learn more about the reasons why this may happen and what you can do to prevent it, keep reading to find out. 

Who Needs Blood Plasma?

Plasma is used to treat over 80 different rare and chronic conditions. Some of these conditions include alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, primary immunodeficiencies, and hemophilia. Plasma can also be used to treat shocks, burns, and trauma. 

Why Do Plasma Donations Get Rejected?

Thanks to the strict standards set out in Health Canada’s Food and Drug Act and Blood Regulations, Canada has one of the safest blood and plasma systems in the world. All establishments collecting blood and plasma in Canada must adhere to strict regulations and meet safety requirements. This means that if collected plasma does not meet safety standards, it must be discarded. 

What Causes Plasma Donations to Get Rejected?

Some common reasons why plasma donations may get rejected include:

  • The donation being lipemic. 
  • A low volume of collected plasma. 

Thankfully, there are things you can do as a plasma donor to prevent these scenarios from happening!

How to Prevent Your Donations from Getting Rejected

To prevent your plasma from being rejected for being lipemic, it’s best to avoid eating fatty foods prior to your plasma donation and opt for healthy protein and iron-rich foods instead. Lipemia occurs when there is a high concentration of fats in the blood. It causes blood plasma to turn milky white and cloudy, and it is not safe to use in plasma-derived medicines. 

A low volume of collected plasma can be caused by dehydration, having too much caffeine, and/or smoking before a plasma donation appointment. As such, it’s best to:

  • Drink 6-8 cups of water on the day of your donation. 
  • Not consume caffeinated beverages at least 6 hours prior to donating. 
  • Refrain from smoking for at least 8 hours prior to your appointment. 

There you have it – several actions you can take to help ensure the plasma you donate is used to create life-saving therapies. Up to 1,200 plasma donations are needed to treat just one patient with a rare disease for a year, so every donation counts. Book your next plasma donation appointment today to help change someone else’s life for the better and earn up to $400/month for doing so!

blood plasma

April 21, 2022

One of the questions we are frequently asked is how long it takes to donate blood plasma. Unlike blood donation, which takes approximately eight to 10 minutes, plasma donation requires more of a time commitment. With that said, there are some perks of donating plasma that make the time commitment well worth it! 

If you are a prospective plasma donor, read on to find out how long plasma donation takes and what to expect. 

What Is Blood Plasma?

Plasma is a yellow-coloured liquid component of blood. It contains several important proteins, including albumin and globulin. These proteins help clot blood, support your immune system, and stop fluid leaks, among other vital functions. 

What Is Donating Plasma Like?

Plasma donation is a four-step process. This process entails:

  • Registering
  • Screening
  • Donating
  • Relaxing

During your first plasma donation, you can expect to be at our centre for a little over two hours. Subsequent appointments will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. 

The part of the plasma donation process that takes the most time is the donating portion. Plasma donors undergo a process known as plasmapheresis, which involves being intravenously connected to a machine that separates plasma from other blood components and returns those other blood components to the body. Plasmapheresis usually takes around 50 minutes, but it is an extremely effective process that collects significantly more plasma than just removing plasma from a blood donation. 

The screening portion of the plasma donation process also requires quite a bit of time, as donors must undergo a physical examination and their medical history has to be reviewed. This is done to ensure donors can safely give plasma. 

What Does Plasma Donation Do?

Now that you know what plasma donation entails, you may be wondering the reasons why plasma needs to be collected in the first place. Plasma donations are used to treat over 80 different immune deficiencies and autoimmune diseases. By donating plasma, you can help create life-saving therapies that make it possible for patients with these conditions to live healthier lives. 

If you donate plasma at Canadian Plasma Resources, you will also get the unique opportunity to earn up to $400/month for your contributions. We’ve always believed in rewarding donors for the time and effort they put into giving plasma. Paid plasma donations are also beneficial for donors and patients alike, as they are needed to ensure a secure supply of plasma.

After reading this blog, we hope you’ll be better equipped to fit plasma donation appointments into your schedule. Plasma donors are eligible to donate twice in a seven day period, and giving plasma is a great way to help others while also getting rewarded. Book an appointment at a centre near you today!

blood plasma

September 28, 2021

Plasma donation is a safe process that has long been used to collect blood plasma so that it can be manufactured into life-changing therapies. With that said, just like with whole blood donation, plasma donation can potentially have some unwanted side effects. Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to improve your chances of leaving your plasma donation appointment feeling as good as possible! Nourishing yourself properly is one of those things. 

If you’re relatively new to plasma donation, keep reading to find out about the iron-rich foods that can help optimize your experience!

How to Prepare for Blood Plasma Donation

One of the most important things to do before donating plasma is to eat a healthy meal with protein and iron-rich foods. This meal should ideally be consumed within two hours of your plasma donation appointment. 

Other things you can do to prepare for plasma donation include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Getting a good night’s rest 
  • Refraining from smoking tobacco
  • Not consuming alcohol or caffeine
  • Avoiding foods high in fat or cholesterol

Why Iron Levels Are Important for Blood Plasma Donation

Before donors give plasma, they undergo various health screenings to ensure they are fit to donate. One of the things that are measured is hematocrit levels, which is the proportion of red blood cells in your blood. This is an important measurement since some red blood cells are temporarily removed from your body during plasma donation. 

By eating an iron-rich diet, you can help keep your hematocrit within an acceptable range. 

7 Iron-Rich Foods To Eat Before Donating Plasma

Eating proteins rich in heme iron, which is the iron found in animal sources, is an excellent way to increase iron stores in your body before donating plasma. However, if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are also great options for non-heme iron from plant sources that can help ensure you have healthy iron levels. 

Foods that are good sources of heme iron include:

  1. Red meat: beef, lamb, pork, and veal. 
  2. Poultry: chicken and turkey. 
  3. Seafood: tuna, haddock, mackerel, shrimp, and clams. 
  4. Eggs.  

Foods that are good sources of non-heme iron include:

  1. Vegetables: spinach, peas, edamame, broccoli, sweet potatoes, collards, chard, and kale. 
  2. Fruit: strawberries, watermelon, figs, dates, prunes, raisins, and dried apricots. 
  3. Grains: oats, wheat products, and iron-fortified pasta, rice, or cereal. 

There you have it – seven iron-rich foods you can consume before donating plasma. By incorporating these foods into your pre-appointment meal, you can help make sure you qualify to donate and have a pleasant donation experience. Book your next appointment today!

blood plasma

September 24, 2021

Plasma is a protein-rich liquid component of blood that is used for various medical purposes. There is more than one way to collect plasma, and different types of plasma donations are sometimes used for different treatments. The two main types of plasma donations are source plasma donations and recovered plasma donations. 

In this blog, we’ll be explaining how these two types of plasma donations work and the differences between them. Let’s get into it!

What Is Plasma Donation? 

Plasma donation is the process of collecting a donor’s blood plasma. During source plasma donations, donors are intravenously connected to an apheresis machine. Apheresis machines draw whole blood, separate plasma from other blood components, and return red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets to donors’ bodies. This process is known as plasmapheresis. 

Recovered plasma, on the other hand, is collected via whole blood donations. After a blood donation is made, plasma is separated out from other cellular components. 

It is worth noting that donors can donate source plasma much more frequently than they can donate blood, which may or may not be separated into its individual components. Because the body replenishes plasma within 48 hours, donors can give plasma via plasmapheresis up to twice per week. By contrast, donors must wait eight weeks between whole blood donations. 

Overall, source plasma donations bring in much more plasma than recovered plasma donations do. 

How Do You Donate Plasma? 

In order to donate source plasma, you must first meet certain eligibility requirements. Some eligibility requirements for plasma donors at Canadian Plasma Resources include:

  • Being between 17 and 68 years of age.
  • Weighing between 50kg to 180kg.
  • Not having had a tattoo or piercing done in the past six months.
  • Not having donated blood in the past 56 days.
  • Having a permanent address within 100 km of a Canadian Plasma Resources facility.

If you meet the initial requirements for plasma donation, you then have to fill out a donor health questionnaire and undergo a medical examination and testing on two separate occasions. Once you’ve completed the registering and screening process, you can then donate plasma. 

Whole blood donations also require donors to meet certain eligibility requirements before donating. 

What Is Plasma Used For?

Source plasma is used to create a number of life-saving therapies for patients living with rare and chronic diseases. Some of these treatments include intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapies, coagulation factor therapies, C1 esterase inhibitor therapies, and alpha-1 proteinase inhibitor therapies.

Many of the patients who rely on plasma-derived medicines must receive treatments for the rest of their lives. This is one of the reasons why continued source plasma donations are so important. 

Recovered plasma is used to create medicines and for plasma transfusions. Individuals may require a plasma transfusion due to trauma, burns, and/or shock. 

How Much Do You Get Paid To Donate Plasma?

Even though paid source plasma donations have been proven to be the only way to ensure a secure supply of plasma, they are only permitted in certain provinces. At Canadian Plasma Resources, we give donors the opportunity to earn up to $400/month when they give plasma at our centres in Saskatoon and Moncton. 

Unlike source plasma donations, whole blood donations are unpaid – even when they are used for recovered plasma. Source plasma donations do, however, require more of a time commitment than whole blood donations do, which is part of the reason why we believe source plasma donors deserve to be paid for their contributions. 

All in all, donating plasma is a great way to help change someone else’s life for the better. If you’d like to help patients receive the treatments they need, book your next source plasma donation appointment at a centre near you! 

blood plasma

July 22, 2021

Staying well-hydrated is extremely important, especially during the summer months. Drinking enough water every day is crucial for preventing infections, delivering nutrients to cells, and keeping your organs functioning properly. 

For plasma donors, being well-hydrated is necessary for a successful donation. Keep reading to learn more about why staying hydrated before your plasma donation appointment is so important and what you can do to ensure you’ve consumed enough water!

How Does Hydration Affect Plasma Donation? 

Since plasma is 90% water, your level of hydration while donating plasma will impact the viability of your donation. Drinking enough water directly affects how full your vein is and how your plasma is separated during the plasmapheresis process. Ideally, you should drink six to eight cups of water on the day of your donation!

How Can I Tell If I’m Dehydrated?

Dehydration can happen at any time of the year, but it is especially common during the summer months. As a plasma donor, it’s good to know the signs of dehydration to look out for. Here are some symptoms of dehydration you should be aware of:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded 
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth, lips, or eyes
  • Less frequent urination and/or dark coloured urine

Tips For Drinking More Water

Even though everyone knows how important drinking water is, it can still be difficult to do at times. These five simple ways to drink more water will help you ensure you’re hydrated for your plasma donation appointment: 

1. Set a SMART Daily Goal

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) goals are a well-established tool you can use to achieve your goals. Setting a SMART goal for your water intake can help keep you motivated and make drinking enough water a daily habit. 

2. Carry A Reusable Water Bottle With You

Carrying a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go is a great way to make sure you never go thirsty! It also serves as a visual reminder that you need to drink water no matter where you are or what you’re doing. 

3. Flavour Your Water

Not everyone likes the taste of water, and that’s ok! If you fall into that category, there are several ways you can flavour your water in order to drink more of it, including infusing it with fruit or using store-bought water enhancers. 

4. Set Reminders

If you’re forgetful or live a very busy lifestyle, setting reminders to drink more water either through an app or through the alarm feature on your smartphone can be extremely helpful. For example, you can set an alarm to go off every hour to remind yourself to finish your current glass of water. 

5. Consume Water Throughout the Day

The best way to ensure you’re drinking enough water is to sip on it throughout the day. Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning and always having water in arm’s reach can help you boost your water intake. 

At the end of the day, the more hydrated you are, the more healthy you’ll be, and your plasma donation appointment will go much smoother as a result! Book your next appointment today to help provide immunocompromised patients with the treatments they need – and don’t forget to drink plenty of water on the day of your donation!