Skip to content

plasma donation process

plasma donation process

February 22, 2022

Plasma donation is a great way to earn extra money while also getting some much-needed me-time. It is a truly fulfilling process that ultimately helps save lives, but not many people know exactly what the plasma donation process entails. 

As a new plasma donor, there are certain things you should be aware of before you come in for your first appointment, and we’re going to let you know what they are in this blog!

What Is Plasma?

Before we get into the things you can do to prepare for your plasma donation appointment, it’s important to first understand what plasma is and why donations are needed. Plasma is a yellowish liquid component of blood that contains several important proteins. It is used to create medicinal products that treat patients with rare and chronic diseases

Can I Donate Plasma?

Making sure you’re eligible to donate plasma is one of the first things you should do as a prospective plasma donor. Eligibility requirements for plasma donation exist to ensure donor and patient safety. To donate plasma at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 17 and 68 years of age.
  • Weigh between 50-180 kg. 
  • Not having had a tattoo or piercing done in the past six months. 
  • Not having donated blood in the past 56 days. 
  • Have a permanent address within 100 kilometres of a Canadian Plasma Resources facility. 

How to Donate Plasma

Once you’ve confirmed that you meet all the eligibility requirements for plasma donation, it’s the perfect time to book your first appointment! You can easily book an appointment at one of our centres on our website. 

On the day of your plasma donation appointment, you can electronically fill out our donor health questionnaire on your mobile device or computer by clicking the “Check-In” button on our homepage. Items you will need to bring to your plasma donation appointment include:

  • An electronic or physical copy of the barcode emailed to you after filling out the electronic questionnaire. 
  • A valid photo identification (e.g. a driver’s licence or passport).
  • A document that shows proof of address (e.g. a bill or lease agreement).
  • Your social insurance card. 

You may also want to bring something to do while you are donating plasma, such as a book to read, as well as a water bottle. The actual donation portion of the plasma donation process takes approximately 50 minutes to complete, and it is a perfect time to do something you enjoy while also staying hydrated! 

Other things you may want to consider doing in preparation for your plasma donation appointment include dressing in loose, comfortable clothing and eating an iron and protein-rich meal a few hours before donating. It’s best to refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages, and eating fatty foods before donating plasma. 

There you have it – all the things you should bring and do to prepare for your plasma donation appointment! At Canadian Plasma Resources, we’re always happy to welcome new donors to our centres. Book an appointment at a centre near you to give back and get compensated up to $400/month for your contributions! 

plasma donation process

June 30, 2021

Plasma donation is a wonderful act that can help save lives and provide you with some much-needed me-time. Donors who give plasma at Canadian Plasma Resources also get the unique opportunity to be compensated for their contributions

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a plasma donor and are wondering what to expect, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s how you can prepare for your first appointment and make it as seamless as possible.

What To Do Before Donating Plasma

As a donor, there are certain things you can do to better your chances of donating healthy plasma, a yellowish liquid component of blood that contains important proteins. The healthier your plasma is, the more likely it is that it will be used to create life-saving therapies. 

Here are some things you can do to better ensure your plasma gets put to good use:

  • Drink 6-8 cups of water on the day of your donation.
  • Eat a protein and iron-rich meal a few hours before donating. 
  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before donating. 
  • Refrain from smoking for at least 8 hours prior to your appointment. 
  • Don’t eat fatty foods or drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol at least 6 hours prior to donating.  

It’s also a good idea to wear loose and comfortable clothing to your plasma donation appointment!

What to Bring to Your Plasma Donation Appointment

Certain documentation is required for donors to proceed past the registration portion of the plasma donation process. Three pieces of documentation you’ll need to bring to your appointment are:

  • A valid photo identification
  • A document that shows proof of address
  • A social insurance card

Since the donating portion of the plasma donation process takes approximately 50 minutes to complete, you may also want to bring something along to pass the time.

What to Expect During Your First Plasma Donation Appointment

Plasma donation is a four-step process that involves registering, screening, donating, and relaxing. You can expect your first plasma donation appointment to take up to two and a half hours to complete. Subsequent appointments will be easier and faster. 

Our amazing staff are always on hand to assist donors through every step of the plasma donation process. They are also more than willing to answer any plasma or donation-related questions you may have. If you’d like to have a snack or drink after you’ve made your donation, feel free to ask our reception staff! 

At Canadian Plasma Resources, we’re always happy to welcome new donors to our centres. To get involved in a good cause and join our amazing community of donors, book an appointment at a centre near you today!

plasma donation process

January 5, 2021

The new year is a great time to start a brand new habit. Whether you’re looking to give back to others or supplement your income in 2021, plasma donation is a fulfilling process that allows for the possibility of both of these things. 

Want to learn more about what plasma donation entails? In today’s blog, we’ll be uncovering the basics of plasma donation and how you can become a donor at Canadian Plasma Resources.

What Is Plasma?

Plasma is a yellowish liquid component of blood. It makes up more than half, about 55%, of your blood’s overall content. The main role of plasma is to carry nutrients, hormones, and proteins around the body.

What Is Plasma Used For?

Blood plasma contains important antibodies, clotting factors, and proteins that can be manufactured into life-saving treatments. Bleeding disorders and rare diseases that affect the immune system can be treated using plasma-derived therapies. Plasma is also commonly used to treat animal bites, burns, and pediatric HIV.

How Does the Plasma Donation Process Work?

The plasma donation process entails registering, screening, donating, and relaxing. Plasma donors are thoroughly screened and undergo regular health checks to ensure they are in good health and able to donate. Once eligibility has been established, plasma donors are intravenously connected to high-tech apheresis machines and undergo plasmapheresis.

Plasmapheresis is a method used to remove plasma from the body and separate it from other blood components that are subsequently returned to the bloodstream. This process takes roughly 50 minutes to complete. After donors have completed their plasma donation, they are encouraged to relax and enjoy refreshments.

Benefits of Donating Plasma

There are many benefits to donating plasma. Plasma donation is a generous act that can ultimately help save lives. It is a great way to contribute to the creation of life-saving therapies and the discovery of innovative new treatments. As a plasma donor at Canadian Plasma Resources, you also get the opportunity to earn up to $90/week for your donations!

How to Become a Plasma Donor At Canadian Plasma Resources

If you’re interested in becoming a plasma donor, visit the eligibility page on our website to find out if you meet the requirements needed to become a donor. If you think you’d be a good candidate, don’t hesitate to book an appointment at a centre near you. We’re always happy to take on new plasma donors!

Plasma donation is an incredible act that can change the lives of others for the better. With the new year upon us, now’s a good a time as ever to get involved in a good cause and start giving back!

plasma donation process

August 21, 2020

Plasma donation is a fulfilling experience from start to finish. Not only does this act of kindness help patients in need, but there are also many positive aspects of plasma donation for donors themselves. If you’re thinking about becoming a donor, these 5 benefits of donating plasma should be taken into consideration!

1. Compensation

At Canadian Plasma Resources, we compensate our donors to show our appreciation for the time and effort they put into donating plasma. With our new Super Hero Rewards loyalty program, Orange level donors can earn up to $80 per week, Silver level donors can earn up to $85 per week, and Gold level donors can earn up to $90 per week. If donors retain their Gold status throughout the year, they can earn up to $520 in additional compensation for the whole year!

2. Me-Time

After everything that’s gone on over the past few months, all of us deserve to relax, unwind, and get some much-needed me-time. Plasma donation is the perfect opportunity to do just that!

The plasmapheresis portion of the plasma donation process, where donors are intravenously connected to apheresis machines that receive and separate donor blood into its individual components, takes roughly 50 minutes to complete. During this time, our donors typically read novels, listen to podcasts, or watch their favourite TV series.

3. Improved Heath

One benefit of regularly donating plasma that isn’t often discussed is the fact that doing so can actually improve the health of the donor. The rigid screening processes donors undergo prior to donating, including blood pressure measurements and temperature checks, allow them to know their current health status. This can help with early disease detection. 

4. Exciting Giveaways and Bonuses

We have plenty of exciting giveaways and bonus opportunities for our plasma donors throughout the year. With our Super Hero Rewards program, donors who give plasma at least once a month are automatically entered into our monthly Walmart Gift Card prize draws. We’re also giving away a brand new iPhone 11 Pro to one lucky donor this month!

In addition to our giveaways, we also regularly host events where we give donors the opportunity to earn additional compensation. If donors refer a friend or family member through our donor referral program, they can earn a $25 bonus!

5. Helping Others

One of the greatest benefits of plasma donation is helping others. Not only is the plasma donated at Canadian Plasma Resources used to help create life-saving therapies for immunocompromised patients that are especially vulnerable during this time, but it is also being used to help find a potential treatment for COVID-19. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more rewarding than giving back. 

Providing plasma donors with the best donation experience possible is something we pride ourselves on at Canadian Plasma Resources, and we’re always happy to welcome new donors to our centres. Become a donor at Canadian Plasma Resources and experience the numerous benefits of plasma donation for yourself!  

plasma donation process

June 23, 2020

Plasma donation is a complex process that involves a range of scientists and healthcare professionals. From nurses and production managers to registration and plasma processing staff, every team member plays an essential role.

If you’ve donated plasma in the past, you were probably assisted by one team member in particular during your donation session – a phlebotomist. In today’s blog, we’ll be shining a light on these incredible medical professionals and explaining how they contribute to the plasma donation process. 

What Are Phlebotomists?

Phlebotomists are trained professionals who specialize in extracting blood for research, transfusion, testing or donation purposes. To become a phlebotomist, one has to complete a phlebotomy program at an accredited institution. Once accreditation is attained, a phlebotomist will typically end up working in a hospital, clinic, laboratory or donation centre.

What Job Duties Do Phlebotomists Perform?

Standard job duties that phlebotomists perform include:

·  Explaining the blood draw process.

·  Prepping patients for blood draws.

·  Performing venipuncture and drawing blood.

·  Assisting patients or donors if they experience adverse reactions to their blood being drawn.

·  Identifying, labelling, and tracking samples collected.

·  Maintaining the supplies and equipment used to draw blood.

Most importantly, phlebotomists need to be able to care for patients and ensure that the samples collected aren’t tainted and don’t degrade. 

The Role of Phlebotomists at Canadian Plasma Resources

Phlebotomists are an essential part of our business at Canadian Plasma Resources, and we wouldn’t be able to conduct plasma donations without them. They work closely with our donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience and are there to guide them every step of the way.

In addition to the duties listed above, phlebotomists at our centres also do the following:

·  Check in donors for their appointment.

·  Ensure donor confidentiality.

·  Set up apheresis machines according to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

·  Operate apheresis machines and other equipment according to SOPs.

·  Attend to donor needs and ensure they are safe and comfortable throughout.

·  Maintain accurate documentation throughout the plasmapheresis procedure.

·  Report quality issues or procedural deviation to the QSM department and management.

·  Assist physician substitutes as needed.

Over the years, we’ve seen how our phlebotomists exercise compassion for our plasma donors and the difference their infectious smiles and personable nature makes in the donation experience. We couldn’t be more thankful for the many amazing phlebotomists that work for us!

Book your next appointment at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre near you to meet our incredible team of phlebotomists and help create life-saving treatments.

plasma donation process

May 28, 2020

The apheresis machine is a revolutionary invention that has helped streamline the plasma donation process. If you’ve donated plasma, you’ve probably come in close contact with this machine, but not many people are aware of its origins. Read on to find out more about the history of apheresis machines and how they’ve forever changed the healthcare industry.

What Is an Apheresis Machine?

An apheresis machine is a medical device that receives blood from a donor’s body and separates it into its individual components: white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. This apparatus is used for donation purposes and in therapeutic procedures. Depending on the reason behind apheresis, blood components can either be isolated and collected or returned to the body.

When an apheresis machine is being used for the purpose of plasma donation, the procedure is referred to as “plasmapheresis”. During plasmapheresis, donors are intravenously connected to an apheresis machine that draws whole blood, separates plasma from other blood components, and returns non-plasma components to donors’ bodies. It typically takes around 50 minutes for this process to complete. 

The Invention of Apheresis Machines

Prior to the invention of the apheresis machine in 1972, blood had to be collected and mechanically separated into its various components to treat specific medical conditions. This arduous process required a lot more blood to be donated in order to treat a patient with the blood component they required.

Thankfully, in the ‘60s a man by the name of Herb Cullis came along and began working on a machine that would revolutionize the blood donation process. Cullis was an American medical technologist who knew he wanted to use his skill set to help others ever since he began his studies at the University or Maryland. In 1965, Cullis got the opportunity to do just that when the American Instrument Company hired him and tasked him with building a machine that draws blood from donors, separates platelets out, and returns remaining blood components.

By 1972, Cullis was able to successfully build the first blood separator, Fenwal CS3000™, with seven other team members. The term “apheresis”,  a Greek word for “to separate”, was coined thanks to Cullis’ work and started to be used as a clinical term in 1979.

The Fenwal CS3000™ has since been distributed worldwide, and Cullis considers it to be his most important invention to date. He received the Dale Smith award from the American Association for Blood Bankers in recognition of his achievement.

The Impact of Apheresis Machines on Plasma Donations

Apheresis machines have made it possible for plasma donors to donate more frequently than they otherwise would have been able to. It also allows plasma collection facilities to collect an overall greater amount of plasma per donation session. Since hundreds of plasma donations are typically required to treat just one patient with an immune disorder or autoimmune condition, this capability has far-reaching impacts.

At Canadian Plasma Resources, we use apheresis machines every day at our donation centres, and we’ve seen firsthand how amazing these devices are. In this time of need, we’ve decided to expand the use of our apheresis machines and collect plasma that can be used to help find a potential treatment.

If your plasma does not contain the antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 required to manufacture a potential treatment, it will still be used to create life-saving therapies for immunocompromised patients. Book your next appointment at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre near you to help vulnerable patients during this especially challenging time. 

plasma donation process

February 26, 2020

Manufacturing blood plasma into lifesaving treatments is a complex process that involves several steps beyond plasma donation. To ensure the safety and quality of plasma products, manufacturers must abide by strict regulatory requirements, and creating therapies that can treat rare conditions using the albumin, alpha-1 proteinase inhibitors, clotting factors, and immunoglobulins present in plasma can take anywhere from 7-12 months to complete. If you’re curious about what happens to your plasma beyond the donor bed, keep reading to learn how plasma is processed post-donation.

Collecting and Holding Blood Plasma

Unlike many other manufactured drugs that are created from synthetic materials, plasma-derived therapies are made from blood plasma, a biological material that is collected from donors via apheresis machines. Once a donor’s blood has been run through an apheresis machine and the plasma is separated out, it is collected, sampled, and sent for testing.

Plasma must be held in inventory for 60 days before the manufacturing process can begin in accordance with international standards that have been set out by Quality Standards of Excellence, Assurance and Leadership (QSEAL). This hold period makes it possible for source plasma to be identified, retrieved, and destroyed if post-donation information reveals a donor isn’t qualified to give plasma.

Blood Plasma Fractionation

After blood plasma has made it past the 60-day inventory hold, it is pooled, purified, and processed through a process known as “fractionation”. During fractionation, plasma proteins are separated or “fractioned off” through a combination of changing temperature, time, ethanol concentrations, and pH. Purification methods including precipitation, centrifugation, separation, and filtration, as well as viral reduction treatments are then used according to individual properties of the protein classes present in plasma.

Viral reduction treatments play an important part in ensuring the plasma products being manufactured are as safe as possible. Viral inactivation methods include solvent/detergent (S/D) and pasteurisation, both of which have proven to be effective at preventing the transmission of highly pathogenic viruses via coagulation factor concentrates.

In addition to the extensive manufacturing processes fractionators perform, they also invest heavily in research and technologies in an effort to improve the quality of proteins extracted from plasma. 

The complex processes, strict regulations, and innovative techniques involved in the manufacturing of plasma products set this production apart from other pharmaceuticals. From the initial plasma donation to the lifesaving therapies that individuals living with immune deficiencies and autoimmune diseases benefit from and everything in between, the creation of plasma-derived products is truly an incredible feat.

Book your next appointment at Canadian Plasma Resources today to contribute to the creation of therapies that help save lives. 

plasma donation process

September 27, 2019

Plasma donation is a completely safe process that has been closely regulated by Health Canada since the late 1990s, and today Canada’s blood system is considered to be one of the safest in the world. Donor restrictions have been put in place to ensure that tainted blood supplies don’t make their way to individuals that require the lifesaving therapies manufactured from plasma. In today’s blog, we’ll be going over plasma donor restrictions and unpacking why they exist.

Plasma donors should be between 17 and 68 years of age.

At Canadian Plasma Resources, the minimum plasma donation age is 17 and the maximum plasma donation age is 68. Individuals who are younger than 17 are classified as legal minors who cannot give consent to donate plasma by themselves. An upper age limit has been set for plasma donations in order to mitigate potential health risks. 

Plasma donors should weigh at least 50 kg (110 lbs).

Whole blood is drawn during the plasma donation process and since blood volume is in proportion to body weight, donors must weigh at least 110 pounds to donate plasma for their own safety. Donors who weigh less than 110 pounds may not be able to tolerate the volume of blood that is removed for plasma donation.

Plasma donors cannot donate blood within 56 days of donating plasma.  

Making a donor wait 56 days between blood donations is a commonplace practice has been put in place to give the body time to replenish itself, especially its iron reserve. Since whole blood is drawn during the plasma donation process, waiting 56 days from your last blood donation is an extra precaution that should be taken.

It should be noted that donors do not have to wait 56 days between plasma donations and in accordance with CPR’s Health Canada approved standard operating procedures, donors can give plasma twice in a 7-day period so long as there is at least one rest day between the two donation days.

Plasma donors cannot get a tattoo or piercing within 12 months of donating plasma.

When you get a tattoo or piercing, you risk contracting an infectious disease if a sterile needle is not used. Some of these infectious diseases cannot be detected immediately.

Plasma donors must have a permanent address within 100 kilometers of a Canadian Plasma Resources facility.

Donor Recruiting Area (DRA) borders are imposed by the Plasma Protein Therapeutic Association (PPTA) through the International Quality Plasma Program (IQPP) certification process.  Canadian Plasma Resource’s DRA borders require donors to reside within the Saskatoon/GSA or Moncton/GMA area.

Hopefully we’ve put some of the questions you may have had about donor restrictions to rest. If you meet all the eligibility requirements listed, we’d be thrilled to have you as a donor. At Canadian Plasma Resources, not only do you get to contribute to the well being of others, but you are also compensated for your time.

Book an appointment today!

plasma donation process

August 30, 2019

Thousands of people around the globe donate plasma every day, and it is a process that is considered completely safe. At Canadian Plasma Resources, plasma collection is performed in a highly controlled clinical environment and our staff adhere to strict plasma collection standards that have been set out by Health Canada.

With that said, attempting anything for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when you don’t know what to expect and you’re in an unfamiliar environment. If you’re a first-time plasma donor, here are some ways you can optimize your plasma donation experience.

1. Come to Your Plasma Donation Appointment Early

Your first visit to Canadian Plasma Resources will take approximately two hours and 15 minutes. As such, it’s in your best interest to come early and give yourself plenty of time to go through the necessary registration and screening protocols. Aiming to arrive at least five minutes early also increases the likelihood of you being relaxed for the appointment and ensures that you have a buffer in case any unexpected delays occur.

2. Come to Your Plasma Donation Appointment Prepared

Coming prepared for your appointment will make your first scheduled visit go a lot smoother. For plasma donations at Canadian Plasma Resources specifically, this means familiarizing yourself with the eligibility requirements and bringing the required documentation. Here’s everything you need to know in order to come prepared:

Eligibility requirements:

  • You must be between 17 and 68 years of age.
  • You must weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • You must have a permanent address within 100 kilometers of a Canadian Plasma Resources facility.

Required documentation:

  • You must present valid photo identification, proof of address, and a social insurance card.

3. Wear Comfortable Clothing

During your first plasma donation session, you will have your blood pressure checked and be connected to an apheresis machine via the veins in the crease of your elbow. It is important to wear loose-fitting sleeves that can easily be rolled up without compromising your blood supply or making you feel uncomfortable.

4. Bring Something To Do

You will be spending approximately 50 minutes actually donating and attached to the apheresis machine. This is a great opportunity to get some much needed “me time” by either watching your favourite TV show or indulging in a good book!

5. Prioritize Rest, Relaxation, and Replenishment

It is important to prioritize rest, relaxation, and replenishment both before and after the plasma donation process. Before donating, try to get a good night’s sleep, eat well, and stay hydrated. Beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol should not be consumed for eight hours prior to donation.

After donating, you will be escorted to the Canadian Plasma Resources waiting room where you can relax and enjoy refreshments. Once you get home, replenish yourself with a healthy, well-balanced meal.

By putting these suggestions into practice, your plasma donation appointment will be much more enjoyable and relaxing. The staff at Canadian Plasma Resources also go the extra mile and closely monitor donors to ensure the optimal plasma donation experience.

Book your next appointment today!

plasma donation process

August 15, 2019

Plasma is the protein-rich, yellow liquid component of blood that is left over after platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells are removed. The lifesaving proteins contained in plasma help your body defend against infections and can be used to treat a variety of rare autoimmune diseases. However, in order to administer plasma as a medicine, it must first be collected. This is done through a process called plasmapheresis.

In today’s blog, we’ll be explaining everything you need to know about the plasmapheresis procedure.

What Is Plasmapheresis?

Apheresis is an umbrella term used to describe the process used to remove blood from the body, filter out elements of it, and retain other elements. Plasmapheresis is a type of apheresis that explicitly targets plasma and separates it from the blood.

The separation of blood from elements like plasma, platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells can be accomplished in two ways – centrifugation and filtration. Centrifugation involves spinning blood and dividing it based on the density of its parts while filtration involves passing blood through a filter in an effort to separate plasma.

During the plasma donation process, donors are intravenously connected to an apheresis machine that draws whole blood and separates plasma from other blood components. Other cellular components are returned to the donor’s body with a sterile saline solution to help replace the plasma that has been removed. The volume of plasma removed during plasmapheresis is dependent on a person’s body weight.

Why Is Plasmapheresis Performed?

Plasmapheresis is performed in order to collect source plasma that can be used to manufacture life-saving therapies. Tens of thousands of Canadians rely on these therapies and they can be used to treat a number of ailments, some of which include:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Surgical bleeding
  • Burns and shock

What To Expect During Plasma Donation

At Canadian Plasma Resources, donors begin the plasmapheresis process after they have registered and undergone a thorough screening. Our phlebotomists will then carefully insert a sterile single-use needle into a vein in the donor’s arm and connect them to the apheresis machine through an IV line. It takes approximately 50 minutes to complete the plasmapheresis process, and donors are monitored at all times by trained medical professionals during this period. The Canadian Plasma Resources team closely monitors donors not only to ensure they are in good health while donating, but also to make certain that they are well cared for and comfortable throughout the process, as this is of utmost importance to us. 

Book your next appointment today!