Am I eligible to donate?
Most adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who weigh at least 110
pounds and are in basic good health are eligible to donate plasma.
Some factors which may exclude you from donating are:
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- lack of proof of identification
- a history of hepatitis
- body piercing or a tattoo within the last 12 months
- prolonged residence in Europe
- a history of cancer
- maximum donor recruitment area is 125 mile radius, but may be smaller. Please check with each center for clarification of their recruitment area.
What can I expect on my initial visit?
Your first visit to one of our centers is like a shakedown cruise - both you and
DCI want to make sure it´s safe for you to donate. Our first concern is for you.
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- The staff member who greets you will make sure that you have valid picture
ID with your current address, a valid Social Security Number, and that you live
within 125 miles of the center. Note: some centers use smaller donor recruitment area.
- You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire covering your medical history and
current health status.
- A qualified medical professional will conduct a physical examination.
- A photo will be taken for your file.
- From a small sample of your blood, your protein and iron levels will be checked
to make sure donating is safe for you. (The results will be shared with you, of course.)
- With the preliminary screening completed, you will be seated in a comfortable
chair that allows you to recline if you wish. Part of your ample supply of blood
(an average of nine pints for a woman, 12 for a man) will be temporarily removed.
- The plasma component will be separated and stored. The cellular portion of your
blood will be returned to you. The initial donation will take about 2 hours and all
subsequent donations will take about 1 hour.
- You´ve made your first donation and earned your first fee!
How is my plasma collected?
Donating plasma is similar to giving blood - except that the only part of your
blood that your body must replace is the plasma. The red blood cells, white blood
cells and platelets are all returned to you. The blood is removed through a needle
inserted in a vein in your arm. It passes into a sterile, self-contained system that
separates the plasma from the other components of the blood. This process is
called PLASMAPHERESIS. The non-plasma components are returned to you
through the same needle. At no time is your blood exposed to open air; nor does
it leave the sterile, enclosed environment of the plasmapheresis system.
Further, as you´ve seen in doctors´ offices and hospitals, all of the supplies used
in DCI´s plasmapheresis centers come in sealed, sterile, one-time-use packages.
The supplies used in drawing your donation are disposed of immediately after use.
A fresh package is used for each donor.
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What happens to my donated plasma?
Good question. The answer comes in two parts: applications and testing.
Human blood plasma is nature's raw material for dozens of life-saving treatments
and medications. Some may already be familiar to you:
- Intravenous Immune Globulin - prevention of infections in patients with primary
- Albumin - restoration of plasma volume in the treatment of shock, trauma, surgery
- Factor VIII - treatment of bleeding and disorders of wound healing due to
Factor VIII deficiency
- Alpha 1 Proteinase Inhibitor - treatment of emphysema caused by genetic
- Specific Immune Globulin - passive immunization subsequent to infectious
disease exposure, e.g., Rubella, CMV, Rabies, Tetanus, Vaccinia, Hepatitis A,
- Rho (D) Immune Globulin (Anti-D) - treatment and prevention of hemolytic
disease of fetus and newborn due to Rh incompatibility as well as
incompatible blood transfusions.
- EPI Immune Globulin - used to create a new drug to prevent Staph infections in newborns.
The protection and quality of our blood supply, plasma included, is of paramount
importance. Indeed, the United States is the major source of blood and plasma
for many countries overseas because of the recognized quality of our supply and
the diligent oversight in our system. Each and every unit of plasma donated is
individually subjected to an extensive battery of FDA required tests. Back to top>>
What´s in this for me?
Plasma donors receive compensation for each donation. This is in
recognition of the time you are willing to devote to boosting the availability of this
critical medical resource.
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