Plasma is one of the main constituent of your blood and because it is made of water and proteins, you can easily replace it in your body. Plasma is a clear liquid in straw colour which includes platelets, red and white blood cells.
It also consists of about 700 proteins which are used for manufacturing of various medical products. It is not possible to make plasma in a lab which is the main reason why there are plasma donation centres for collection of plasma.
After plasma is separated from the blood cells, they are used while transfusion of blood and all the individual proteins present in it are separated and then used to manufacture various medical products.
Plasma donated by you will make these individuals immune and help them to fight serious illnesses:
- Cancer patients
- Transplant patients
- Premature infants
- Patients suffering from autoimmune disease
Mentioned above are the individuals who have lost their own abilities to produce immunity against diseases. Therefore they have to depend on plasma donations which will produce survival capabilities that become part of the disease process.
People suffering from diseases like haemophilia and inherited bleeding disorders get help from these plasma donation centres. Products are also created by hospitals with plasma for treating serious and traumatising injuries like serious burn and shock.
How screening of potential donors is done
Plasma from donors who are donating for the first time won’t be used for plasma therapies. First time plasma donors are supposed to provide identification documents like valid address proof and a social security number.
All these documents are checked with the national donor deferral registry database. This is done to find out whether you are eligible for plasma donations from your previous blood test reports.
Donors go through the screening process including health history and medical check-up every time they donate. People who come for plasma donation for the first time undergo a physical exam which will be repeated if they will donate again. These assessments are tracked with the donor management computer system. If the person fails to meet any of the screening step, he won’t be allowed to donate plasma that day.
Plasma collection process
Plasma is separated from the blood of the donor through plasmapheresis is a technique that performs the separation of plasma from the red blood cells.
After the extraction of plasma, red blood cells are given back to the donor. Human bodies restore the plasma quickly and donors are allowed to donate plasma twice on any of the Sunday.
The donors provide compensation for their valuable time and the staff notices properly the total time taken for the whole process which is about one and a half to two hours.
To ensure that the plasma is of good quality and safe to use, samples of each and every donation is tested in the state-of-the-art laboratories. There is always a risk of transmission of infectious agents therefore with our technologies and safety checks quality of plasma is ensured.
8 distinct tests are performed on each of the plasma donation and if any of the test is found positive the donation is destroyed and the individual is permanently banned from donating again at any of the centre all over the world.
How plasma is manufactured
Once the plasma donation clears all the tests it is stored in a warehouse at a temperature of -30°F at least for a time period of 60 days. It also provides time for gathering details about the donor in order to think again before starting the manufacturing process.
Plasma is turned into medicine in any of the three production places in Spain, Los Angeles, Clayton, Barcelona, North Carolina, California, etc. It is also the place where plasma is processed into various life-saving therapies.
Transformation of plasma into medicine is controlled and managed by the FDA and various other European health authorities.
Separation of proteins from plasma is done through a fractionation process which has lots of phases. Then various purification steps were performed utilising a combination of filtration processes and treatment solvents. Viruses are activated and eliminated while the final medicine is sold in bottles on which the unique lot number is laser etched. This unique lot number is also present on the label of the product and its packaging.
The whole process of collecting plasma after manufacturing can be up to 12 months. A system called pedigree is used which is one of the extra quality measure and it has full record of the plasma used in the products right from the donation to the manufacturing of the product.