Fractionation refers to the processing of Source Plasma into a range of specialized proteins for therapeutic use.
Fractionated products include:
- Albumin: the major use of albumin is for volume replacement during surgery or following massive bleeding
- Immunoglobulins: for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and immune disorders
In addition to separating plasma from whole blood donations, Canadian Blood Services uses a procedure known as apheresis to collect plasma. This process allows Canadian Blood Services to collect the plasma portion of your blood while returning red cells, white cells and platelets to you.
During your plasma donation all of the supplies that come in contact with your blood are sterile and used only once. Blood is drawn through a needle in your arm and passes through a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates your plasma and returns the rest of your blood to you through the same needle. The entire process door to door takes about an hour.
Before donating plasma, donors are required to complete a similar screening process* as for blood donors. Some terminology and procedures are slightly different and donors are required to submit to a physical exam upon entry into the plasma program.
* If the donor donates more frequently than every 56 days, a clothes-on physical exam is required. The donor does have the option of donating every 56 days without a physical exam.