When we say we are committed to saving lives at Carter BloodCare, we mean it. Carter BloodCare works each day to save lives through blood banking and transfusion medicine. Blood transfusion helps patients with acute medical needs and there is another way that blood donation can assist patients who have long-term therapeutic needs. We are introducing our donors to the opportunity to give source plasma to help patients who require medicines created from plasma.
So what is source plasma? Source plasma is similar to a regular plasma donation, but it has a different purpose. Source plasma is not intended for transfusion. Instead, it is manufactured into life-saving medical treatments, such as albumin and immunoglobulin injections, called IVIG. The therapeutic uses for source plasma continue to grow, but a worldwide plasma shortage ultimately affects the availability of life-saving therapies for patients who depend on them.
According to Dr. Geeta Paranjape, M.D., Director of Clinical Services at Carter BloodCare, there are a variety of patients who use source plasma products, such as burn victims and patients suffering from liver disease. Other patients who may need source plasma products are those with immune system issues such as bone marrow transplant patients.
“By encouraging people to donate source plasma, we are helping the manufacturers make the products these patients need,” said Dr. Paranjape. “These life-saving medical derivatives are made by using human plasma.”
The donation process for source plasma is similar to a regular apheresis process. Donors register at a donation site, answer a brief medical questionnaire, and receive a mini-physical. If a donor meets all the necessary requirements, the donation begins. The donation takes slightly more time than a whole blood donation but less time than a platelet donation. Since the donation is not a red cell product, there is less concern about iron depletion when donated multiple times. Plasma can be given every 28 days, which is half the waiting period for a whole blood donation. With source plasma eligibility, donors who frequently travel (possible deferral for malaria risk) can give and so can women who have multiple births (deferral for platelet donations). Source plasma allows patients a chance to receive life-saving treatments.
Donors who give this product are also giving to save lives. Once the source plasma is collected, we freeze it on-site and send it to our main facility where it is processed, tested, and packed for distribution out of the country. Once the manufacturers receive the plasma, they use it to create much-needed therapies.
“We see a lot of people who would like to donate but are ineligible for one reason or another,” said Dr. Paranjape. “People who travel a lot for work, who have recently been to malaria areas, or those who are not eligible donors for transfusion, might actually be ideal donors for source plasma.”
Source plasma donation provides the opportunity to give life in a way that impacts many people.
If you are interested in scheduling a source plasma donation or would like to know more, call 817-412-5895.