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plasma donation

plasma donation

August 16, 2022

Myths about plasma donation can make it seem much more daunting than it actually is. In this blog, we’re going to be breaking down the top myths that could keep potential donors from making it to their local centre. We’re also going to unveil the truths that highlight why plasma donation is so important.

Keep reading to learn more about what you can actually expect to happen as a plasma donor!

What Are the Top Myths About Plasma Donation? 

1. Paid plasma donation is a new trend, and it’s unnecessary – we can get by on volunteer donations. 

The Truth: The demand for IVIg, an essential plasma-derived treatment used to treat immunocompromised patients, has increased by 6-8% each year over the past ten years. IVIg is used to treat a variety of diseases and disorders.

Canada is in the top three highest per capita users of IVIg in the world. And it’s not just Canada. The majority of developed countries rely on paid plasma donations to attempt to meet their needs.

Also, some Winnipeg donors have been paid for their plasma donations for over 30 years in Canada – so it’s certainly not a new practice. 

2. Paid donations are more dangerous than donations made by volunteers.

The Truth: Canadian patients and donors have access to some of the safest plasma products in the world.

Our strict protocols, from donation to production, ensure that our supplies of plasma are healthy and safe. Thanks to modern technology and adherence to guidelines and protocols, Canada hasn’t had a single case of transmission of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV through plasma products for over 30 years

3. Paid plasma donations target low-income people.

The Truth: Regardless of your socioeconomic status, the eligibility requirements for plasma donation remain the same. In order to donate plasma, you have to meet the following requirements: 

  • Be between 17 and 68 years. of age.
  • Weigh between 50 kg to 180 kg.
  • Have a permanent address within 100 kilometres of a Canadian Plasma Resources facility.
  • Present valid photo identification, proof of address, social insurance card.
  • Qualify to donate. This involves a process that includes a questionnaire, an interview, a medical examination and testing on two separate occasions within a 26-week period.
  • Have not had a tattoo or piercing done in the past 6 months.
  • Have not donated blood in the past 56 days.

Why Are Myths About Plasma Donation So Harmful?

Misconceptions about plasma donations can prevent people from giving plasma. This can ultimately contribute to plasma shortages. 

Canadian patients require 1.2 million litres of plasma for life-sustaining treatments – and we don’t collect nearly enough plasma to meet those needs. 

What Can You Do to Help Dispel These Myths? 

Donating plasma consistently saves lives and is the only way to provide those who require plasma protein therapies with the treatments they need to survive. You can help to correct these common misconceptions and break the stigma by booking a plasma donation appointment today and sharing your experience with your friends, family, and online community. We hope to see you at one of our centres in the near future!

plasma donation

July 26, 2022

Donating plasma is the only way to ensure a secure supply of plasma is available for patients who need plasma-derived therapies. Patients who rely on these treatments oftentimes need them for the rest of their lives, so consistent donations are crucial. 

Not only is it important to donate plasma on a regular basis, but it’s important to also consider the quality of your plasma prior to donation. Below, we’ve outlined key things that you should avoid prior to donating plasma to boost the quality of your plasma and prevent being deferred

What Is Healthy Plasma?

Donated plasma must first meet certain standards in order for it to be used to create life-saving therapies. Ideally, plasma should be yellow in colour and translucent. 

Some reasons why plasma may be rejected include for being lipemic (when there are excess fats and lipids in the blood) or because the collected amount fails to meet a certain volume. 

How to Donate Healthy Plasma

As a plasma donor, there are certain things you can do to help ensure you donate healthy plasma and don’t get deferred. Here are 3 things you should avoid doing before giving plasma.

1. Avoid Fatty Foods

To make sure that your plasma isn’t lipemic, and therefore unusable, steer clear of fatty foods before donating plasma. Avoiding greasy foods, like pizza, fries, or sweets, will help you to feel your best and produce the highest quality plasma. These foods should not be eaten at least six hours prior to your plasma donation appointment. 

Protein and iron-rich foods, on the other hand, will help you maintain your hemoglobin levels and feel your best during your plasma donation.

2. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are substances that can dehydrate your body. Being dehydrated can cause your plasma supply to dwindle. As such, you should avoid consuming caffeinated beverages and alcohol for a minimum of six hours before a donation and try to hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water instead!

3. Avoid Smoking 

Last but certainly not least, you should refrain from smoking for at least eight hours prior to your appointment. Smoking causes your veins to constrict, which reduces blood flow and makes it much harder for phlebotomists to find a vein during the plasma donation process. It may also cause you to feel lightheaded after making your plasma donation. 

There you have it – all the things you should avoid doing before donating plasma to ensure your plasma is ultimately used to help patients in need. 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 a plasma donation appointment today to change someone else’s life for the better and earn up to $400/month for doing so!

plasma donation

July 21, 2022

Plasma protein therapies are unique treatments that are used to replace missing or lacking proteins found in plasma. For people who require plasma protein therapies, these treatments are essential and life-sustaining, enabling patients to live healthy, well-rounded lives.

If you’d like to learn more about what exactly plasma is and the life-altering therapies it is used to create, keep reading to find out. 

What Is Blood Plasma?

Before we delve more into what plasma protein therapies are, it’s important to first understand what plasma is. Plasma is a straw-coloured liquid portion of blood. It is the largest component of blood, and it contains essential proteins that are needed for blood clotting and immunity. 

How Are Plasma Protein Therapies Created? 

Plasma goes through an extensive manufacturing process that ranges from 7 – 12 months after it has been donated. Plasma fractionation is part of this manufacturing process, and it entails using purification techniques, like precipitation, centrifugation, separation, and filtration, to transform plasma into various therapies. 

After plasma has been manufactured into plasma protein therapies, it can then be administered to immunocompromised patients who require these treatments on a consistent basis.

Plasma that is frozen can be used in hospitals and other clinical settings for up to 12 months after donation. Because of plasma’s blood clotting abilities, it can be used to treat victims of major accidents in emergency cases. However, most donated plasma is used to make pharmaceutical products. 

What Types of Plasma Protein Therapies Are There?

There are four main types of plasma protein therapies:

  • Albumin
  • IVIG (Intravenous Immuoglobulin)
  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin 
  • Coagulation Factors

Each of these therapies are used to treat different rare and chronic conditions. 

Who Needs Plasma Protein Therapies? 

Millions of people worldwide require plasma protein therapies for a variety of reasons. People with immune deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, bleeding disorders, and more rely on plasma protein therapies in order to live healthy lives. 

Now that you know what plasma protein therapies are, we hope you’ll consider making a donation in the near future. Patients are only able receive the life-sustaining treatments they need due to the generosity of plasma donors, and every donation helps! Book a plasma donation appointment at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre near you to help us help others. 

plasma donation

June 27, 2022

Plasma is used to treat a range of medical conditions. As one of the major components of blood, plasma is a straw-coloured liquid that is derived when all other blood cells are separated from whole blood. The protein-rich portion of plasma is used to treat trauma-related injuries and various rare diseases, including Kawasaki disease. 

What is Kawasaki Disease? 

Kawasaki disease is an illness that causes inflammation in the coronary arteries, which are responsible for supplying oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It primarily affects children younger than five years of age, with 80 – 90% of Kawasaki disease patients falling into that category. 

Kawasaki disease is treatable, and most children go on to live healthy lives if they receive proper treatment. 

What are the Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease?

Signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease include: 

  • Rash
  • Enlarged lymph nodes 
  • Red eyes 
  • Red, dry, cracked lips 
  • Red, swollen tongue 
  • Swollen, red skin on the hands and feet 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain 
  • Fever

What Causes Kawasaki Disease?

There is no determinate cause for Kawasaki disease, but it is not believed to be contagious. Since it causes swelling of the lymph nodes and a high fever, it most likely occurs due to a viral or bacterial infection.

How Is Kawasaki Disease Treated?

Kawasaki disease is usually treated via intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy. This plasma-derived treatment is administered via an infusion, and it helps reduce the swelling and inflammation in blood vessels. IVIG therapy also decreases the risk of developing coronary aneurysms. 

IVIG therapy is most effective if it is administered within the first 10 days of developing Kawasaki disease. 

Plasma-exchange therapy is also used to treat Kawasaki disease on occasion. It replaces the plasma portion of your blood with plasma from a donor. The plasma of individuals who have Kawasaki disease contains proteins that can attack the body, so replacing this portion of the blood with healthy, donated plasma can help reduce inflammation and aid recovery.

Donating plasma is the only way to ensure that children with Kawasaki disease have access to the plasma-derived treatments they need. Book a plasma donation appointment today to make a difference in a child’s life. 

plasma donation

June 20, 2022

Now that it’s officially summer, staying hydrated is something that should be top of mind! For plasma donors, staying hydrated is especially important. Drinking water affects how your plasma is separated and the fullness of your veins. If you’re dehydrated, you may be deferred from donating plasma or put yourself at risk of not feeling well afterwards. 

Read on to learn more about the signs of dehydration you should look out for when giving plasma. 

Common Signs of Dehydration

Dehydration can occur if you don’t drink enough fluid throughout the day or if you lose more fluid than you take in. Since plasma is roughly 90% water, drinking lots of water is needed to help your body recover post-donation. 

Some signs of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness 
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth, lips, or eyes
  • Less frequent urination or dark coloured urine

How to Stay Hydrated Before Donating Plasma

Health experts recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. If you find it difficult to meet the daily recommended intake of water, the following tips may help with that:

Tip #1: Drink Flavoured Water

If you struggle to drink enough water because it’s not as exciting as, say, juice or soda, consider adding a sugar-free flavouring powder to your water (bonus points if it contains electrolytes). 

Tip #2: Hydrate with Coconut Water

Coconut water is a great source of hydration, as it’s loaded with vitamins like magnesium and potassium. It’s like nature’s sports drink!

Tip #3: Eat Water-Rich Fruits and Vegetables

Watermelon, cantaloupes, tomatoes, and cucumbers are all examples of fruits and vegetables that contain plenty of water. Plus, fruits and vegetables have several vitamins and minerals that are good for your overall health! 

As a plasma donor, you’ll also want to avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol for at least six hours prior to your plasma donation appointment. These substances can dehydrate your body. 

To feel your best after donating and help ensure that your donation is of the highest quality, it’s important to stay properly hydrated before, during, and after giving plasma. Now that you have the knowledge you need to stay hydrated this summer, book a plasma donation appointment today to put the tips in this blog into practice! 

plasma donation

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!

plasma donation

May 26, 2022

Plasma donation is a relatively simple process and a great way to make some extra money. If you’re a new donor, however, there are a few things you should know about before you go in for your first appointment. One of the most important things you need to be aware of is how the food you consume can ultimately affect your plasma donation.

Here’s what you should eat before and after donating plasma to ensure you pass your health screening and have a smooth donation experience! 

What to Eat Before Donating Plasma

A few hours prior to your plasma donation appointment, it’s a good idea to eat an iron and protein-rich meal. Not having adequate iron and/or protein levels is one of the most common reasons donors get deferred, so taking some time to prepare a healthy meal is well worth it! 

Foods that are rich in iron include:

  • Grains: Oats, quinoa, spelt, whole wheat products, and iron-fortified products.
  • Fruit: Figs, dates, raisins, watermelon, and strawberries.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, string beans, cabbage, potatoes, and dark leafy greens. 

Foods that are rich in protein include:

  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Fish and shellfish.
  • Lean meats and poultry.
  • Beans, peas, and lentils.

If you follow a plant-based diet, you may want to also eat vitamin C-rich foods, as this nutrient can help you absorb more non-heme iron. Tomatoes, bell peppers, and citrus fruits are all high in vitamin C. 

What to Not Eat Before Donating Plasma

There are also certain foods you’ll want to avoid eating before donating plasma. Fatty foods, like potato chips, pizza, and French fries, can cause lipemia, which is a phenomenon that occurs when there’s a high concentration of fats in your blood cells. Lipemia makes plasma milky white and cloudy; ultimately rendering your donation unusable. 

What To Eat After Donating Plasma

After donating plasma, it’s important to rest and replenish your body. This means eating a light snack within two hours of your donation and drinking plenty of water. It’s also a good idea to complete your daily protein and iron intake during the meal(s) following your plasma donation. 

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is a must for plasma donors. By making the right food choices, you can reduce your chances of getting deferred, improve the way you feel post-donation, and live an overall healthier life. Book a plasma donation appointment today to put the tips in this blog to good use!

plasma donation

April 27, 2022

We all know that giving back helps others, but did you know that it can also be good for you? Whether you donate to a charity, volunteer your time, or decide to give plasma, there are proven benefits that all of these acts can provide. Here are three ways giving back can ultimately help you! 

1. Giving Can Make You Happier

Several studies suggest that when people give it actually does make them happier. A National Institutes of Health study found that people who gave to charities activated regions of the brain that are associated with pleasure, trust, and social connection. Researchers at Stony Brook University have concluded that our brains release chemicals that give us a sense of joy and peace when we are generous. This phenomenon is known as the “giver’s glow” or “helper’s high.”

2. Giving Can Improve Your Health

There is a plethora of research that has linked different forms of generosity to improved health. Some purported health benefits of giving back include:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decreased stress levels
  • Improved cognitive functioning

A study from Northwestern found that older adults who feel they have a purpose in life also sleep better at night! Having a purpose, whether that be through contributing to a problem you’d like to solve or through volunteering, has also been linked to living a longer life

3. Giving Can Foster Social Connections

Generosity can promote social connections and improve relationships. Studies suggest that being altruistic oftentimes results in indirect reciprocity, and you are likely to be rewarded by others at another time. These positive social interactions can strengthen your ties with others, which is ultimately good for your physical and mental well-being. 

Why Donate Plasma?

If you’re feeling inspired to give back, plasma donation is a great way to do just that! Plasma, a protein-rich liquid component of blood, is used to treat several rare and chronic diseases. It is only through the generosity of donors that immunocompromised patients are able to receive the plasma-derived therapies they need. 

Other perks of donating plasma include being part of a tight-knit community and the opportunity to earn some extra money. At Canadian Plasma Resources, our donors earn up to $400/month for their contributions!

Overall, giving back is good for both your physical and mental health. It can give you a sense of purpose and boost your overall life satisfaction. If you’d like to help others while also helping yourself, book a plasma donation appointment today!

plasma donation

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!

plasma donation

March 29, 2022

As someone who may be thinking about becoming a plasma donor, you are probably asking yourself why you should donate plasma instead of blood. Plasma donation and blood donation are both great ways to give back! They are used to save countless lives and help patients in need. But while these processes do have a lot of similarities, they also have quite a few differences that you should know about. 

In this blog, we will be going over all the reasons you may want to donate plasma instead of blood. 

What Is the Difference Between Blood and Plasma?

Before we delve into all the differences between blood donation and plasma donation, it’s important to first distinguish the difference between these two bodily fluids. 

Blood is a constantly flowing reddish fluid that is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. It circulates throughout your body and delivers oxygen and nutrients to your body’s cells. Blood also helps remove carbon dioxide and other waste materials from your body. 

Plasma is the largest part of your blood, and it makes up roughly 55% of its overall content. This yellowish liquid is responsible for several essential functions in the body, including clotting blood and fighting diseases. 

What Is the Difference Between Donating Blood and Plasma?

There are quite a few differences between blood donation and plasma donation. The most notable differences include compensation, what they are used for, and the time required for each of these processes. 

Here are some reasons why you may want to donate plasma instead of blood:

1. Plasma Donors Can Be Compensated

Unlike blood donations (which are unpaid), paid plasma donations are permitted in some places in Canada and around the world. There are numerous reasons why plasma donors are paid when blood donors are not, some of which include the time commitment that is required of plasma donors and the fact that the only sustainable way to collect enough plasma is through paid donations. In fact, the United States, a country that permits paid plasma donations, supplies two-thirds of the world’s plasma

At Canadian Plasma Resources, we give our donors the opportunity to earn up to $400/month for their contributions. 

2. Plasma Helps Patients with Rare Conditions

Plasma donations are specifically used to treat over 80 different autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies, and rare blood disorders. Blood donations, on the other hand, are often used for blood transfusions. Donated blood may also be separated into its individual components and used for other medical purposes. 

If you would like to specifically help patients with rare and chronic diseases manage their conditions, plasma donation may be the right choice for you. Source plasma donations bring in three times more plasma than just removing plasma from blood donations, and the patients who receive plasma protein therapies often need these treatments for the rest of their lives. The more source plasma donations that can be made, the better!

3. Plasma Is a Great Way to Get Me-Time

Lastly, plasma donation is a great way to get some me-time! The plasmapheresis portion of the plasma donation process, which involves separating plasma out from other blood components and returning those other components to the body, takes approximately 50 minutes to complete. You can pass the time as you please during these 50 minutes and do things that you normally can’t fit into your schedule, like reading or listening to your favourite podcast!

A whole blood donation usually takes anywhere from eight to 10 minutes to complete. 

Even though blood donation and plasma donation are both amazing acts of kindness that can ultimately save lives, there are evidently many reasons why someone may choose to do the latter. If you’re interested in giving back and getting compensated all while enjoying some me-time, book a plasma donation appointment today!