Plasma donations needed for life-saving medications

Jul 29, 2015 6:46 PM by Charlene Cheng

It's referred to by patients who depend on it as liquid gold.

"The color of plasma is that light yellow to golden color. It's the liquid portion of the blood that all the blood cells and platelets float around in," said Erin Myers, the Director of Source Plasma at BloodSource.

Source plasma is collected through an automated process, 600 to 800 milliliters at a time.

"The lifesaving medications that are created from the source plasma donations treat a wide variety of diseases, including neurological disorders, bleeding disorders, just to name a few....," Myers said.

BloodSource is the first voluntary source plasma donation center in the country.

There's a worldwide need, but 65% is collected in the U.S.

"This really is an opportunity where a local donation can become a global gift. When you give here. the need is continuing to rise because of the advances in technology and the uses for this product that they find," Myers said.

The donation process is simple, similar to giving red blood cells.

"It's a single needle procedure. It's a little longer than a whole blood donation. We ask donors to expect 35 to 45 minutes during the donation process, and the entire process takes roughly an hour and a half," Myers said.

Blood donors are encouraged to wait at least eight weeks between contributions.

With plasma, it's only two.

"Currently 1 in 7 people who enter the hospital end of needing some kind of blood product, so the need is there, and it's very likely that someone in your own lifetime will need a blood product," Myers said.

BloodSource in Redding started collecting source plasma in May.

The center in Chico will begin taking this type of donation on Monday, August 3.


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