FAQ

FAQ
FAQ

    1. What is source plasma?
    2. Who needs source plasma?
    3. Why donate plasma?
    4. How much plasma is needed?
    5. How can I donate?
    6. Is donating safe?
    7. Am I eligible?
    8. What can I expect on a typical donation day?
    9. What if I test positive for a disease?
    10. What if I feel unwell?
    11. How often can I donate?
    12. Will I be compensated?
    13. Does donor remuneration compromise safety of our current blood and blood product system?
    14. Who is an applicant donor?

    1. What is source plasma?

    Source plasma is the plasma collected from volunteer donor (typically paid) that serves as the raw material for the further manufacturing into lifesaving therapies. The source plasma collected at Canadian Plasma Resources is NOT used for transfusion. The source plasma undergoes many cycles of purification and viral inactivation to produce end product such as Immunoglobulins, Coagulation Factors (Factor VIII, vWF, Factor IX, Prothrombin Complex), Albumin, fibrin sealant, C1-Esterase and many more. Click here for more details.

    2. Who needs source plasma?

    Tens of thousands Canadian patients and millions around the world rely on therapies manufactured from source plasma. Immunoglobulins produced from source plasma are used for the treatment of primary and secondary immune deficiencies, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory demyelinating disorders of the nervous system. Albumin is used for burn and shock victims and also used in conditions of interstitial fluid build-up (angioedema). Coagulation factors are used for the treatment of bleeding disorders such as hemophilia A and B. There are recombinant options available for coagulation factors VIII and IX, but the rest can only be derived from human source plasma. Click here for more details

    3. Why donate plasma?

    Canada is presently self-sufficient in plasma used for transfusion. However there is a shortage in source plasma supply (plasma used for manufacturing plasma protein therapies). In fact Canada is dependent on the United States for 80% of immunoglobulin products, 30% albumin and 100% of other plasma derived products. Under instances of worldwide shortages for plasma and plasma protein therapies, health and quality of life of many Canadian patients may become jeopardized. Click here for more details.

    4. How much plasma is needed?

    In Canada plasma is collected by Canadian Blood Services (CBS), Hema-Quebec (HQ) and licensed private companies under strict regulations enforced by the Canadian Food and Drug Act. CBS and HQ together produce 246,000 litres of plasma, which is 1% of the global demand (25 million litres). 60% of the global demand is presently met by the United States with the majority of the supply coming from a paid donor base.

    5. How can I donate?

    Visit one of our donation centres, call us, or click here to book your appointment. If this is your first donation, plan to stay with us for about two hours in order to conduct the necessary health checks for everyone's safety. If you have donated with us before, come in at your scheduled time and plan to stay for about one hour.

    6. Is donating safe?

    Yes! Plasmapheresis, like any other procedure, may have some associated risks. However, these risks are low and the procedure has minimal to no side effects. Also, our centres will be inspected by Health Canada and are designed to comply with all national and international regulations. We will have trained medical staff on site to monitor the entire donation, even before you sit on the bed. The equipment is certified and sterile, so that your blood never makes contact with non-sterile environments. For detailed donor health and safety measures click here.

    7. Am I eligible?

    If you are 17 years of age or older and are in good health, you most likely qualify to donate with us. Make sure you eat and drink non-alcoholic beverages before your donation and refrain from smoking before and after the donation. Please refer to the donor eligibility requirements and comprehensive questionnaire for further details.

    8. What can I expect on a typical donation day?

    Your arrival will be noted by one of our receptionist once you come into the centre. One of our staff members will greet you, verify your identification, and conduct preliminary health inquiries such as checking your hemoglobin levels. A registered nurse will conduct a private interview with you to flag any potential risk factors. Your questions will be reviewed carefully to ensure transparency and that you are informed and comfortable. Once you meet the donor suitability criteria, you will be escorted to a comfortable plasmapheresis bed where you will rest for the duration of the donation. After completion of the process, you will be guided to a rest area where you can relax. You will be compensated for your generosity and valuable time (see FAQ# 12 for more details) and will be able to book your next appointment with us. For further details refer to the first time donor guide and plasma donation process.

    9. What if I test positive for a disease?

    You will be informed in a confidential manner by the physician substitute or responsible physician. A recommendation for a follow up with your family physician will be made. You cannot make future donations if tested positive for HIV, Hepatitis A, B or Hepatitis C at any of Canadian Plasma Resources’ plasma centres. As part of Canadian regulations Public Health Agency will also be informed. You will also be added to the National Donor Deferral Registry to prevent further donations from reactive donors.

    10. What if I feel unwell?

    Your safety and comfort are of utmost importance to us. If you feel uncomfortable at any time during your donation, let us know immediately and we will discontinue the donation process. We are well equipped with first aid kits, emergency medications and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) certified staff. We are also located in close proximity to several hospitals allowing immediate assistance and treatment for any adverse reaction you may be experiencing. In the unlikely event that you do not feel well after your donation, contact us immediately or your family doctor and inform them of how you are feeling. If you feel it is an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

    11. How often can I donate?

    Our body replenishes plasma in about two days, unlike blood which takes about two months. You can donate plasma as often as once a week. Donating frequently can help you partake in creating more solutions for those in need.

    12. Will I be compensated?

    It takes commitment to become a qualified plasma donor at CPR. Thank you for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and good health to donate your plasma. We value the significant amount of time you have taken to make the plasma donations. As a token of appreciation we would like to compensate your valuable time and commitment. If you wish you may donate your compensation to charitable organizations and receive a tax receipt. Please note that applicant donors are only compensated upon qualification (see FAQ#14 for details and compensation).

    13. Does donor remuneration compromise safety of our current blood and blood product system?

    No. All plasma collection centres whether remunerating donors or not undergo the same review process for licensing by Health Canada and must abide by all applicable regulations in order to be operational.

    Stricter regulations such as thorough donor selection criteria and testing requirements were made effective to address the compromised blood system in Canada in response to the Krever Commission. Furthermore advancements such as viral DNA and RNA testing or NAT testing minimize the viral window period allowing earlier detection of reactive donors. Advancements in manufacturing technology such as validated viral inactivation and filtration steps. make the plasma protein products one of the safest and effective treatment modalities.

    As a result there has not been a single case of HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C transmission in patients receiving plasma protein products since the last 25 years, despite the fact that most of the plasma donors were paid.

    14. Who is an applicant donor?

    If you are still going through the screening process to become a Qualified Donor you are an applicant donor. To become a qualified donor you must pass two separate medical screenings (physical exam and questionnaire) and test negative for HIV, HBV and HCV on two different occasions within 16 weeks. This qualification expires every 16 weeks.

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