(StatePoint) Plasma donation is an impactful, meaningful way to give back to your community this summer. By donating plasma, you can help people like Machelle Pecoraro.
Pecoraro lives with Hereditary Angioedema (HAE), a rare disease that can cause attacks of swelling, and often pain, in specific parts of the body, including the stomach, hands, feet, arms, legs, genitals, throat and face. Like with many serious and rare diseases, the therapies used to treat HAE require human plasma donations.
“Plasma donors directly impact my ability to live a full and productive life. Therapies made from these donations allow me and my son, who also lives with HAE, to receive ongoing treatment for our conditions,” says Pecoraro.
Plasma, a straw-colored liquid that carries red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, helps to maintain a steady level of blood pressure, supports the immune system and delivers critical nutrients to cells.
Plasma donations are used to replace crucial proteins people living with rare and serious diseases lack, and to produce therapies that treat diseases such as primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema, hemophilia, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency and various bleeding and neurological disorders.
There is a critical and ongoing need for plasma donations, as these life-saving medicines treat people in more than 100 countries around the world. Every year, it takes more than 1,200 plasma donations to treat one hemophilia patient, more than 900 plasma donations to treat one alpha-1 patient and more than 130 plasma donations to treat one primary immune deficiency patient.
“Plasma donors do the amazing, as plasma is used to develop life-saving therapies for people living with rare and serious diseases. We encourage those who can donate to visit a nearby CSL Plasma donation center,” says Rachpal Malhotra, MD, head of plasma donor safety, CSL Plasma.
Eligible, qualified plasma donors also receive payments in connection with donating plasma.
The Donation Process
To donate, you must be in good health, between the ages of 18-74, weigh at least 110 pounds, and have had no tattoos or piercings within the last four months. You must also meet the health and screening requirements and have valid identification with a permanent address.
Although wait times may vary at each location, the collection process takes approximately 90 minutes after the first donation.
It is recommended that you drink four to six 8-ounce glasses of water, fruit juice or other caffeine-free liquid at least two to three hours before donation, avoid caffeinated beverages, avoid alcohol of any type for 24 hours beforehand, eat a meal prior to donation and get adequate sleep.
CSL Plasma has 320 plasma donation centers across the United States.
Visit cslplasma.com for more information and to find a center near you. The CSL Plasma donor app is also available for Apple and Android device users.
“I thank all donors and encourage anyone who is considering donating to remember that doing so does make an impact for people like me and my son,” says Pecoraro.
Photo Credit: (c) CSL Plasma