The process for donating plasma is similar to donating blood. The main difference between a whole blood and plasma donation is the collection method—apheresis. Only the plasma portion of your blood is collected; the rest (red cells, white cells and platelets) is returned to you.
Becoming a plasma donor can make a lifesaving difference to patients across Canada, who depend on treatments made from donated plasma. These medicines help treat a variety of rare, life-threatening, chronic and genetic conditions.
Why do we need more donated plasma in Canada?
As part of our role, Canadian Blood Services is responsible for monitoring the amount of human plasma available to meet the needs of patients in Canada. For some time, we have been seeing a steady increase in the use of and demand for plasma-derived products in Canada and around the globe.
By increasing the amount of raw material (source plasma) we collect from donors through our existing infrastructure, as well as making plans to collect more in the future, we are striking the right balance for patients.
“It worked okay for a while, then I was getting all kinds of side effects — and never the same twice.”
Terry Mills was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, in August 2017. Since then she has been treated with immunotherapy drugs to boost her immune system’s ability to find and destroy cancer cells.
Donating plasma is similar to donating blood. Only the plasma portion of your blood is collected; the other components (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) are returned to you. Watch our video to get a firsthand look at the plasma donor experience.