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plasma donation

plasma donation

December 1, 2023

Blood plays a central role in our bodily functions, ensuring the delivery of oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to every cell. One of the crucial components of blood is blood plasma, an often overlooked super-powerful element. Plasma is referred to as “liquid gold” because it can’t be manufactured in a lab, and it’s what keeps our circulatory system functioning (plus, it has immune-boosting properties and helps the body to replenish and repair after a traumatic injury). In this blog, we’re breaking down what blood plasma’s job is in the body, and how it supports our health. 

Understanding Plasma

Blood plasma is the yellowish, liquid component of blood that constitutes about 55% of the total volume. Plasma is made up of water, electrolytes, proteins, and hormones – and with all of these components, it supports a variety of necessary bodily functions. 

Blood Plasma’s Key Functions

  • Transporting Nutrients:
    • Nutrient Delivery: One of the primary roles of blood plasma is to transport vital nutrients, like glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids, to cells throughout the body. This ensures that every cell receives the necessary fuel for optimal functioning.
    • Oxygen Transportation: Hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells, binds with oxygen in the lungs. From there, plasma carries these oxygen-loaded red blood cells to tissues and organs, enabling the cells to perform their functions properly. This is also why it can be used to treat diseases such as Hemophilia, supporting healthy blood clotting. 
  • Supporting Healthy Cell Clean Up:
    • Carbon Dioxide Removal: As cells metabolize nutrients, they produce carbon dioxide. Blood plasma plays a crucial role in transporting carbon dioxide back to the lungs, where it’s expelled from the body during exhalation.
    • Removing Waste: Plasma also supports the removal of waste from the cells to the kidneys, where it can be processed and ultimately removed from the body.
  • Immune System Support:
    • Antibodies: Plasma contains antibodies and other immune system components that help defend the body against infections. 
    • Clotting Factors: Essential proteins in plasma, known as clotting factors, contribute to the blood clotting process. This ensures that wounds and injuries are sealed promptly, preventing excess (and potentially dangerous) blood loss.

Book your Plasma Donation Appointment 

Plasma donation is essential in order to give patients in need access to this “liquid gold” component of blood. It can’t be replicated in a lab, and donors like you are the only way that patients who require plasma for life-sustaining treatments can access the medical care they need. Book your plasma donation appointment today! 

plasma donation

November 1, 2023

Donating plasma is a generous act that can help save lives and provide irreplaceable source plasma to those in need. Across the country, Canadian Plasma Resources collects plasma donations for medical treatments, helping trauma victims and immunocompromised patients to live healthy, full lives. That being said, it makes sense that you might have some questions about how CPR prioritizes your health and safety throughout the donation process. In this blog, we’re diving into the plasma donation process, to outline how CPR works to ensure a smooth and safe donation process.

Plasma Donation: The Basics

Plasma is the liquid component of your blood that carries vital nutrients, hormones, and proteins throughout your body. Donating plasma is a relatively straightforward process that involves separating this liquid portion from your blood, returning the red blood cells to your body, while the plasma is collected via a plasmapheresis machine. The collected plasma is then used to manufacture essential medical products for essential and life-saving treatments.

Is Plasma Donation Safe?

The short answer – yes! And we’ve broken down why: 

CPR’s Rigorous Screening Process: Canadian Plasma Resources follows a strict screening process to ensure the safety of both donors and recipients. Donors undergo a thorough medical history review and physical examination to identify any potential risks, to your health and to those who would be receiving your plasma donation.

Health Requirements: To donate plasma, individuals must meet certain health criteria. Donors must be in good health, within a specified age range, and meet weight requirements. These standards help to minimize the risks associated with donating plasma.

Sterile Environment: The actual plasma collection process is conducted in a sterile, clean and controlled environment, to reduce the risk of infection or contamination.

Skilled Professionals: CPR employs skilled healthcare professionals who are trained to perform plasma collection safely and efficiently (while making the experience as pleasant as possible for you!)

The Benefits of Plasma Donation

Plasma donation is a vital part of medical treatments for patients with rare and life-threatening conditions, like hemophilia, immune deficiencies, and certain neurological disorders. By donating plasma, you can contribute to reducing the cost of medical treatments for patients in Canada, because locally sourced plasma is more affordable than imported plasma. Plus, Canadian Plasma Resources offers compensation for your time and effort as a donor. To learn more about our compensation plan, and to sign up for your plasma donation appointment today, click on the link below.

plasma donation

October 1, 2023

Plasma plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health. Blood plasma is a mixture of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma, it’s a complex mixture with various functions. But can plasma, just one component of our body’s blood supply, coagulate? Let’s get into it (and don’t worry: we’ll break down the medical jargon so it’s easy to understand!)

What is Blood Plasma?

Before diving in, let’s break down what, exactly, blood plasma is. 

Blood plasma is the pale-yellow, “liquid gold” portion of our blood. It makes up about 55% of total blood volume and it consists mainly of water, electrolytes, proteins, hormones, waste products, and gases. It’s essentially the “carrier” for blood cells and platelets, helping transport these components throughout the body.

The Role of Blood Plasma:

Blood plasma serves multiple vital functions in our bodies, including:

  • Transporting Essential Nutrients: It carries essential nutrients, hormones, and waste products to and from cells.
  • Immune System Defense: Plasma contains antibodies and immune system proteins that help protect against infections.
  • Blood Clotting: Plasma contains proteins necessary for blood clotting, which is vital to prevent excessive bleeding.

Can Blood Plasma Coagulate?

So now that we’ve cleared up some background context, let’s discuss the key question: can blood plasma coagulate? Simply put, it can, but there are a few key things to keep in mind. 

1. Plasma and Coagulation Factors

Blood plasma itself doesn’t coagulate, but it contains critical coagulation factors (say that 10 times fast!) that contribute to the overall clotting process. When blood vessels are injured, these factors activate and form blood clots, in order to prevent excessive bleeding.

2. Clot Formation

So how does a blood clot form, and what’s plasma’s role in the process? When a blood vessel is harmed in some way, platelets swoop in, releasing chemicals that activate essential clotting factors in plasma. From there, fibrin strands (mesh-like structures) form, grabbing hold of blood cells and forming a blood clot to stop the body from bleeding excessively. 

3. Medical Uses for Plasma

Plasma is used to produce life-saving treatments for individuals with bleeding disorders, like hemophilia. These treatments can help patients replace missing or below-average clotting factors, helping their blood to coagulate (clot) normally. 

Donating plasma is a meaningful way to make a difference in the lives of people with bleeding disorders!. By donating plasma, you provide the essential components needed to produce clotting factor concentrates, helping hemophilia patients and those with clotting conditions to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.

plasma donation

September 1, 2023

With recent advancements in science, 3D printing and replication technology, you might be wondering why plasma can’t be simply whipped up in a lab. 

There is no duplicate for source plasma – making donation essential. It’s a completely unique, organic substance that scientists haven’t been able to recreate. In this blog, we’re breaking down why plasma can’t be manufactured in a lab, and how donating benefits you. Let’s dive in!

Why Can’t Plasma Be Manufactured in a Lab? 

To understand why plasma can’t be manufactured in a lab, we need to break down its unique properties that make it difficult to study – and so far, impossible to replicate (bear with us – it’s about to get scientific).

Blood, which plasma is a component of, is difficult to study. After blood is donated, it only stays fresh for a limited amount of time, and medical professionals haven’t been able to replicate it in the window of time that it is viable. Plus, blood is dependent on the individual: a person’s health impacts the quality and properties of their blood, making plasma tricky to recreate in one pure form.

3 Reasons Why you should Donate Plasma 

That’s why it’s so essential to donate plasma consistently, for the patients with chronic conditions, traumatic injuries and autoimmune disorders who rely on plasma transfusions as a critical component of their healthcare routine. Plus, it’s a great way to make some extra cash.

If you’re still on the fence, consider the following: 

  1. Plasma is in high demand, without enough supply. 

Plasma is essential for treating patients with immune deficiencies, bleeding disorders, physical trauma and rare disorders –  yet plasma donor numbers dropped by 31,000 over the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients who require plasma treatments like transfusions and plasma therapies rely on donors like you – but this is a two-way street. At Canadian Plasma Resources, we value your time and are proud of our donor compensation system. 

  1. Get paid to give back to Canadians in need 

This brings us to our next point – we value your time and energy, and because of that we’ve established a compensation system that rewards consistent donation. To learn more about our compensation system, check out the compensation page on our website.

  1. Take Advantage of some Me Time

When you donate plasma, you get to kick back in a comfy seat and catch up on your favourite shows or the book that you’re pouring through – and get paid for it, while giving back to others. So essentially, when you become a plasma donor, you become a triple threat.

Book your plasma donation appointment today and earn up to $750 in your first six weeks as a plasma donor!

plasma donation

August 1, 2023

Plasma proteins are like superheroes that work best together. 

There are three key types of plasma proteins: Albumins, Immunoglobulins and Fibrinogens. In this blog, we’re breaking down how each plasma protein functions as a component of plasma to fight crime (infection) and help the body maintain its immune system and heal.

What are Albumins? 

Albumins are like the multivitamin of the group – they’re general, well-rounded proteins that are supportive of your body’s overall functioning. They help balance the right amount of water and nutrients in our blood, making sure everything stays in harmony. Additionally, they transport important substances like vitamins and hormones to key parts of the body. 

What are Immunoglobulins?

Immunoglobulins guard the gates to our immune system! They’re antibodies that protect us from harmful invaders, like bacteria and viruses. When bacteria and viruses enter our system, immunoglobulins fight to protect our wellbeing. They make up 35% of plasma proteins. Immunoglobulins are a subset of globulins, which are just a group of proteins in the blood. Some globulins also work as enzymes, meaning that they help with digestion and metabolism. 

What is Fibrinogen?

Fibrinogen makes up 7% of plasma proteins. One of the essential bodily functions that Fibrinogen supports is blood clotting and coagulation. Fibrinogen converts to insoluble fibre, which helps that blood to clot. When you get injured and blood vessels are damaged, fibrinogen converts into fibrin, a fibrous protein that forms a mesh-like structure. This mesh traps blood cells and platelets, creating a blood clot that helps to stop bleeding. Blood coagulation is crucial for wound healing and preventing excessive blood loss.

Stronger Together: Plasma Protein Superheroes

Overall, plasma proteins help to maintain a variety of bodily functions. The protection that plasma proteins provide our immune system is what makes them essential for patients who require plasma protein therapies as life-sustaining treatments. 

Immunoglobulins support our wellbeing by fighting against viruses and bacteria. Albumins help to regulate blood volume and pressure, by making sure that there’s a proper level of fluids between blood vessels and tissues. This component makes plasma proteins essential for the treatment of trauma victims, because it helps to restore their blood volume and improve recovery. Finally, Fibrinogen is the part of plasma proteins that helps patients with clotting disorders or patients who are having major surgeries. Fibrinogen helps to reduce the risk of dangerous haemorrhages. 
Plasma proteins are amazing, life-sustaining elements of our immune system that keep our bodies healthy. To help patients access the plasma protein therapies and treatments that they need, donate plasma at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre today.

plasma donation

July 1, 2023

Plasma is the fluid portion of blood, that contains red and white blood cells as well as platelets, forming the entirety of whole blood. 

Plasma has many different roles within your body. Here are some of the main roles plasma is responsible for: 

Rearranging water where your body needs it.

Plasma is composed of approximately 92 percent water, serving the crucial function of filling blood vessels. This enables the continuous circulation of blood and the transportation of essential nutrients within the heart.

Plasma facilitates the transportation of hormones, nutrients, and proteins to various body parts while aiding in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Plasma’s primary function is to transport essential nutrients, hormones, and proteins to the specific areas of the body requiring them and facilitating the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Additionally, cells deposit their waste substances into the plasma, which aids in eliminating this waste from the body.

Acting as a fluid medium, it delivers essential substances to where they are needed and helps maintain optimal organ and tissue functioning. 

In addition, plasma supports gas exchange by carrying oxygen to tissues for energy production and eliminating carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism. This balanced gas exchange ensures a healthy internal environment. Overall, plasma’s multifaceted nature as a transporter, gas exchanger, and waste remover highlights its crucial role in maintaining bodily functions and promoting well-being.

Plasma plays a crucial role in maintaining blood pressure and ensuring proper circulation.

The presence of albumin, a protein found in plasma, plays a crucial role in upholding the oncotic pressure, which prevents the leakage of fluid into areas of the body and skin where fluid accumulation is typically minimal. This mechanism safeguards against unwanted fluid retention and helps maintain a balanced distribution of fluids throughout the body. Additionally, by preserving the appropriate oncotic pressure, albumin contributes to the smooth flow of blood through the intricate network of blood vessels, ensuring efficient circulation.

Plasma aids in the clotting of blood.

Finally, plasma aids in the clotting of blood. Just as we mention on our website, on ‘How Plasma is used to Treat Bleeding Disorders’ plasma contains crucial proteins that contribute to preventing excessive bleeding by assisting in the clotting process, also known as coagulation. This becomes possible through the presence of specific proteins that work together to promote clot formation. 

Individuals with hemophilia A or B, characterized by impaired blood clotting, face life-threatening risks from seemingly minor cuts and scrapes. In such cases, coagulation therapy derived from donated plasma becomes essential for their survival. This therapy provides the missing clotting factors necessary for effective clot formation and can prevent severe bleeding episodes. Through the generous donation of plasma, individuals with hemophilia can receive the critical treatment needed to manage their condition and mitigate potential life-threatening situations.

Thank you for donating.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about Blood Plasma, and its functions and for becoming a more informed part of the Give Plasma community. We appreciate all you do as donors and supporters. Visit our website today to find the centre nearest you to book your plasma donation.

plasma donation

July 1, 2023

We know that when it comes to donating plasma, there can be a lot of factors that can affect your eligibility. Today, we hope to inform you more about the background of tattoos, their risks, and why there is a waiting period after getting your new tattoo.

What are tattoos really?

A tattoo is an imprint or artistic pattern created on the skin by inserting pigments through pricks into the uppermost layer of the skin. Traditionally, a tattoo artist uses a handheld device resembling a sewing machine, which features one or more needles that repeatedly pierce the skin. During each puncture, little ink droplets are deposited into the skin, resulting in the desired design or mark that lasts permanently.

What makes tattoos permanent? 

When a tattoo needle punctures the skin, it creates a break in the epidermis, the outer layer of skin, and deposits ink into the dermis, the inner layer that contains numerous blood vessels and nerves. This process triggers the immune system, which responds by sending immune cells, including macrophages, to the tattoo site. Macrophages play a role in cleaning up the area by engulfing the ink particles to keep the site as clean as possible. However, some ink particles evade macrophage capture and are absorbed by fibroblasts, specialized skin cells responsible for maintaining the skin’s structure. These fibroblasts and macrophages then become permanently trapped in the dermis, leading to the long-lasting presence of the tattoo.

Risks involved

There are many risks associated with getting a tattoo done. And when donating plasma, because it goes to people who are already immunocompromised, there need to be strict rules on who can and can’t donate. Because tattoos breach the skin, they can cause skin infections and other complications that in turn can hinder your eligibility to donate plasma. 

Mayo Clinic states that allergic reactions, bloodborne diseases, and other skin problems can arise after a tattoo. Since tattoos are done with dyes, this can trigger an allergic reaction such as rashes, which can even show years later. Bloodborne diseases like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also occur if the equipment used to create your tattoo was contaminated with infected blood. Lastly, areas of inflammation called granulomas can form around your tattoo which can lead to keloids – areas of skin with raised overgrowth scar tissue. 

Waiting period

Because of these potential risks involved with getting a tattoo, there is a waiting period that donors have to go through in order to be able to donate again. At the Canadian Plasma Resources Centres, we ask that our donors wait 6 months after getting their tattoos before they are eligible to donate with us. After the 6 month period is over, we are more than excited to have you back in our centres to continue/or start your donation journey.

Thank you for donating.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about donating with tattoos, and becoming a more informed part of the Give Plasma community. We appreciate all you do as donors and supporters. Visit our website today to find the centre nearest you to book your plasma donation.

plasma donation

June 27, 2023

Plasma donation has significantly helped recipients with underlying disease that impact their lives daily. Despite the fact that the pandemic assisted in increasing awareness about plasma; social isolation, cleaning practices, and a decrease in donors visiting centers have all had a negative impact on donations around Canada. 

      Covid 19 has been termed as the fifth pandemic to plague the world. Initially, the first case of the novel Coronavirus was identified in Canada and was reported on January 25, 2019 in a 50-year-old Toronto resident who had recently visited Wuhan, the initial epicenter of the outbreak in China. At Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, the man was isolated. The initial progression led to a wide spread of the virus around the world. Individuals, families and communities were all left in fear and worry about the virus until a vaccine was produced to allay and reduce their fears. The world was put into isolation in order to reduce the spread of the virus. There were fewer interactions of people around the communities due to the various restrictions. 

      Canadian Plasma Resources took action in ensuring the safety of its donors such as social distancing, hand washing and the use of a face mask. This enabled us to continue to serve our plasma recipients who depended on plasma for survival.  The Canadian plasma resource also practices physical distancing while at our centers. Hand sanitizer use is required upon arrivalAdditionally, to reduce traffic in our centers, we encourage donors to enter the building not more than 5 minutes before their appointment. 

      These plasma donation recipients include people fighting diseases such as cancer, auto immune diseases, clotting disorders, bleeding disorders and infections. These are everyday people like you and me who depend on your plasma donation to maintain the quality of their lives and to live fulfilling lives. With the introduction of the 5th booster vaccine, we have seen a significant increase in the number of donors coming into our facility in order to donate plasma. 

      The eligibility process still remains the same, however we have included more safety measures to ensure your safety while you donate. Also, according to CBC, the incidence of Coronavirus has reduced drastically as compared to when it first emerged. Hence, it is safer to donate. We appreciate your donations each day and are thankful for your contributions in making the world a better place of our various plasma recipients.

plasma donation

June 1, 2023

Why donate in the summer? 

You may have heard about the importance of blood donation – but have you heard about why plasma donation is so important?

It takes 1,200 plasma donations to treat one patient with hemophilia for one year. That’s why it’s so important to donate plasma consistently, because patients in need require regular plasma treatments as a part of their healthcare management. 

Donating plasma in the summer is a win-win situation. Like chocolate and peanut butter or Rachel and Monica, it’s one of those pairings that makes each other better. Donating plasma is not only good for others in need, it can also earn you some extra cash. Plus, donating in the summer is a lovely, comfortable experience (it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the warmer weather) – but more on that below.

  1. Getting to your appointment is a breeze

In the summer months, getting to your appointment can be a part of your day that you look forward to, rather than a chore. With the weather warming up and the sun shining bright, you can bike to one of our donation centres and enjoy some fresh air prior to your appointment, or you can drive with the windows down, playing your favourite sunny day music (think Red Hot Chili Peppers or Carrie Underwood) and soaking in the summer air. 

  1. You can rest and recover in the sunshine

Following your plasma donation appointment, it’s important that you take the time to rest and recover. Usually, we recommend waiting for 15 minutes in our reception area, so you can sip some water and have a snack. With the season changing, you can enjoy some fresh air outside following your appointment while you stretch your legs and ensure that you’re feeling good enough to get on with your day.

  1. You can earn some extra cash for your summer adventures 

Summer is the season of patio drinks, sports games and spontaneous adventures with friends. Having a friend grab your beer or spot you the cost of a ticket is always a nice gesture, but those favours can add up over the season.   

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to earn enough cash to cover the cost of summer-living, become a plasma donor today. 

Become a donor today

There’s no time to donate plasma like the present. Why not start regularly donating plasma this summer so you can foster a hobby that will carry you through the rest of the year? When you donate plasma, you help those with autoimmune conditions, bleeding disorders and other chronic conditions live healthy, sustained lives. To become a plasma donor today, visit our website and book your appointment. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to learn about why plasma donation is important and to take steps towards becoming a donor! 

plasma donation

June 1, 2023

Plasmapheresis is a treatment process that separates plasma from blood cells. 

While plasma exchange is similar, there are a couple of key differences. Plasma exchange not only separates plasma from blood, it also removes harmful antibodies from the bloodstream. Usually, this plasma is discarded and substituted with a replacement fluid. Whereas with plasmapheresis, the plasma is manipulated once it’s separated and it’s returned to the body. We’re breaking down all of the specific of these key differences below – so if you aren’t a doctor or a scientist, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. 

What is plasmapheresis?

Plasmapheresis is the plasma donation process that we use here at our centres. The plasmapheresis process involves being connected to a plasmapheresis machine in order to have your plasma separated and extracted from whole blood. Here’s how the process works here at CPR: 

Step 1. The plasmapheresis machine

Donors are connected to a plasmapheresis machine. The plasmapheresis machine withdraws all of the components of blood, separating plasma from the other blood cells before returning those other components back to the body.

Step 2. The donated plasma is frozen 

After you donate plasma, it has to be frozen within 24 hours in order for it to be viable. From there, it will be able to be supplied to patients in need!

Step 3. Patients in need receive plasma treatments. 

Donated plasma can be used in a variety of different treatments, from treating patients with chronic illnesses to trauma victims. 

When it comes to treating the latter, 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.

What is plasma exchange? 

While plasmapheresis separates the components of blood and plasma intravenously, plasma exchange involves completely removing the plasma and swapping it in with replacement fluid. This, like plasmapheresis, is a process of apheresis. Apheresis simply describes the process of filtering out the plasma from whole blood: and the key difference between these two processes is what is done with the plasma once it’s separated (ie, it’s filtered or extracted entirely).

Thank you for donating 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the differences between plasmapheresis and plasma exchange. We value your time as a donor and appreciate your willingness to be an informed member of the Give Plasma community! To book your plasma donation appointment today, visit our website.