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Who donates plasma?

October 12, 2018

During the month of October, the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) is highlighting the importance of plasma donation and why plasma donors are truly lifesavers to many people living with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PI).

Across the U.S., plasma collection centers encourage their local communities to donate plasma, and many people step up and do something extraordinary by donating their plasma. Plasma donors recognize the lifesaving impact their donations have. Human plasma is used to make many lifesaving treatments, including immunoglobulin (Ig) replacement therapy upon which many people with PI rely.

All plasma donors undergo a very rigorous screening process and cannot give their plasma unless they pass this screening. Donors must be 18 years or older, weigh at least 110 lbs., undergo a medical screening and test negative for specific viruses. If all eligibility requirements are met, the donation process can begin. Plasma is collected through plasmapheresis that separates the plasma from the blood. A machine collects the plasma and returns the other parts of the blood back to the donor. The collection process usually takes approximately 90 minutes.

Overall, donating plasma is a safe and sterile process. Donors are compensated for their time, but many, like  Solyanna Gebrekidan of Knoxville, Tennessee, continue to donate because they understand the critical importance of plasma donation.

Solyanna Gebrekidan of Knoxville, Tennessee

Solyanna is a dedicated plasma donor and says, “If my plasma donations can help other people who rely on plasma to treat their diseases, why wouldn’t I donate? I want to be a part of improving other people’s lives.”

She is 21-years-old and graduated this year from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she received her degree in Psychology. She has lived in Atlanta, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee. Her family was originally from Ethiopia and enjoys making Knoxville, Tennessee her home.

Solyanna adds, “I encourage others to donate lifesaving plasma and do something that benefits so many.”

When she’s not working, Solyanna spends time with her family and friends and enjoys playing tennis.

Plasma donors are your neighbors, your co-workers, the people you see at the grocery store. They are regular people doing an extraordinary act—donating something they have so that others may live a better life.  They are lifesavers.

Thank you to Solyanna for sharing her story, and thank you to all plasma donors for their incredible gifts.

This content should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. In all cases, patients and caregivers should consult their healthcare providers. Each patient’s condition and treatment are unique. The benefits and risks should be discussed with the patient’s provider.

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