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.
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 marijuana at least eight hours prior to your appointment. Smoking tobacco increases your blood pressure, and if you smoke marijuanna 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.
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!
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.
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!
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:
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:
Red meat: beef, lamb, pork, and veal.
Poultry: chicken and turkey.
Seafood: tuna, haddock, mackerel, shrimp, and clams.
Foods that are good sources of non-heme iron include:
Fruit: strawberries, watermelon, figs, dates, prunes, raisins, and dried apricots.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 dizzy or lightheaded
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!
May 26, 2021
Plasma is a protein-rich component of blood that is used to treat numerous rare and chronic conditions. This yellowish liquid is capable of amazing things, and scientists are continuing to discover new uses for it every day.
In this blog, we’ll be delving into 10 surprising facts about blood plasma that you may not know. Let’s get into it!
1. Plasma is the main component of blood.
Even though plasma doesn’t look very similar to blood, it actually makes up more than half (roughly 55%) of its overall content. The main role of plasma is to carry nutrients, hormones, and proteins to the parts of the body that need it. Blood plasma also contains important antibodies, clotting factors, and proteins that can be made into life-saving therapies for people with rare diseases.
2. Plasma donation is not the same thing as whole blood donation.
Most people are pretty familiar with whole blood donation, but plasma donation is not as well known. Whole blood can either be transfused in its original form or separated into its specific components – red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma. Plasma, on the other hand, is extracted from your blood using a special machine and is specifically used to make important therapies that immunocompromised people rely on. The blood donation and plasma donation processes are fairly similar; however, donating plasma does take longer.
3. There are two types of plasma donations.
There are two types of plasma donations that exist – recovered plasma donations and source plasma donations. Recovered plasma comes from whole blood donations that are separated into individual components. Source plasma donations are collected through a process called plasmapheresis, where donors are intravenously connected to an apheresis machine that separates out plasma and returns other blood components to the donor’s body.
4. You can give plasma twice within a seven-day period.
As a plasma donor, you can make two donations in a seven-day period so long as there is at least one rest day between the two donation days. If you donate plasma twice a week at Canadian Plasma Resources, you can significantly increase the amount of compensation you receive.
5. There is no substitute for the therapeutic proteins that come from plasma.
The proteins, antibodies, and some clotting factors found in blood plasma are one-of-a-kind, and there is no replacement for them. Life-saving medicines, like intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy, can only be made from donated plasma.
6. Source plasma is used to treat dozens of different diseases.
7. Up to 1,200 donations are needed to treat one patient for a year.
To create enough life-saving therapies to help patients in need, millions of litres of plasma must be donated every year. It takes 1,200 plasma donations to treat one patient with hemophilia, 900 donations to treat one patient with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, and 130 plasma donations to treat one patient with a primary immune deficiency for a year.
8. Paid plasma donations are only permitted in some places in Canada.
10. The United States is responsible for 70% of the global supply of blood plasma.
Paid plasma donations are permitted across the United States and, as a result, they provide 70% of the global supply of plasma. 90% of the total supply of plasma can be accounted for when the U.S. is grouped with other countries that allow for plasma donors to be compensated, including Austria, Czechia, Germany, and Hungary.
There you have it – 10 surprising facts about blood plasma that you may not have been aware of. Here’s one more fact that you should know – the need for plasma never goes away for patients with rare diseases. That’s why your donations are so important. If you’d like to help ensure a secure supply of plasma for patients who need it and get paid for your contribution, book your next appointment today!
March 30, 2021
Plasma is a protein-rich component of blood that can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions. In order for donated plasma to actually be manufactured into life-saving therapies, however, it must first meet certain quality standards. Thankfully, as a plasma donor, there are things you can do to give your plasma the best chance of being put to good use. Keep reading to find out what they are!
What Is Considered Healthy Plasma?
There are rigorous screening processes that have been put in place to ensure that only healthy pools of plasma are used for therapeutic purposes. At plasma collection centres, donors must meet certain eligibility requirements and undergo medical examinations before giving plasma. Once their plasma is collected, centre staff check to see whether it’s discoloured or cloudy. Healthy plasma is pale-yellow and clear.
It can take anywhere from seven to twelve months for plasma protein therapies to be manufactured from the time a donation is made to the time it is ready to be given to a patient. After blood plasma leaves the collection centre, samples are tested for indicators of viral infections. Plasma products are then further safeguarded by advanced pathogen reduction processes. Only after this extensive manufacturing process is plasma considered safe to use.
The Dos and Don’ts of Plasma Donation
There are plenty of things you can do to improve the quality of your plasma as a donor. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts you should consider.
Drinking lots of water the day before and the day of your plasma donation appointment, ideally six to eight cups. The amount of water you drink directly affects how full your vein will be and how your plasma is separated.
Eat a healthy meal that’s iron and protein-rich within two hours of donating. Iron-rich foods include broccoli, beans, leafy greens, chicken, and turkey. Foods high in protein include nuts, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
Get a good night’s rest prior to donating. The more rested you are, the smoother and quicker your recovery will be. Your donation will also be more plentiful.
Drink alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to donating. Alcohol is a diuretic that can cause dehydration and make plasma donation more difficult.
Drink caffeine, in any form, on the day of your plasma donation appointment. Caffeine can cause blood vessels to constrict, making finding a vein and returning the non-plasma portions of blood back to the donor more challenging.
Eat fatty foods like potato chips, pizza, and fries the day of your plasma donation appointment. These foods can negatively impact your blood tests and contribute to cloudy plasma.
Use tobacco or marijuana for at least eight hours prior to donating. Smoking tobacco before giving plasma can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Smoking marijuana in this time period will lead to at least a one-day deferral.
By following these tips and tricks, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done everything on your part to ensure your plasma can be used for the greater good. Book your next plasma donation appointment today to put them into practice!
January 26, 2021
Plasma is a clear, straw-coloured liquid component of blood that contains important proteins. The proteins found in plasma, including albumin and globulin, play an essential role in blood clotting and defending the body against infections. Donated plasma is often used to create life-saving therapies for patients with rare diseases whose bodies aren’t able to perform these vital functions on their own. As such, keeping your protein levels up as a plasma donor is very important.
If you’d like to learn more about the ways you can get your protein levels up for plasma donation, keep reading to find out!
The total protein measurement process is relatively simple. It involves a finger stick test that is used to collect a blood sample. A capillary tube containing the blood sample is then spun and TP is measured. The minimum acceptable TP level for plasma donation is 6.0 g/dl.
If your TP levels don’t reach that level, you won’t be eligible to donate plasma on the day of the test. However, there are things you can do to bring your protein levels up and resume your plasma donation sessions if you find yourself in this scenario.
3 Ways to Increase Your Protein Levels for Plasma Donation
1. Consume Animal Proteins
Eating animal proteins is a great way to boost the protein level in your blood. Red meat is one of the best sources of animal protein, but it is also high in saturated fat, which can ultimately affect your cardiovascular health. To get optimal protein levels in your diet while also keeping your health in check, opt for leaner cuts of red meat like sirloin steak and filet mignon. These red meats contain 23 grams and 22 grams of protein per 3 oz serving respectively.
Other meats that are high in protein include pork, poultry, and fish. Pork contains 23 grams of protein per 3 oz serving, chicken contains roughly 24 grams of protein per 3 oz serving, and salmon contains 17 grams of protein per 3 oz serving.
2. Consume Dairy and Eggs
Dairy and eggs are another excellent source of protein. There are 6 grams of protein in one large egg and, compared to other cheeses, low-fat ricotta and cottage cheese contain a substantial amount of protein without a high percentage of fat. One cup of low-fat ricotta has 20 grams of protein and one cup of large curd cottage cheese has 23 grams of protein.
3. Consume Plant-Based Protein
If you don’t eat animal products, there are still ways to increase your protein intake with just plant-based foods! Tofu, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are all great sources of protein.
No matter what your dietary preferences are, there are plenty of ways to boost your protein levels so that they are adequate for plasma donation! Book your next appointment at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre near you to help patients that rely on plasma-derived therapies and earn up to $4,680/year.