What's the Connection between Plasma Donors and People Living with PI?
People living with a primary immunodeficiency disease (PI) are missing the key parts of their immune system that help fight infections. Some types of PI leave people unable to make antibodies of their own. Antibodies are necessary to fight substances that the body recognizes as alien, such as bacteria and viruses. These individuals rely on lifesaving immunoglobulin (Ig) replacement therapy for their entire lives.
The process by which human plasma is collected, tested and eventually fractionated into plasma products, such as Ig replacement therapy, is complex. There are many different entities involved in the chain that enable plasma to go from a donor to a finished plasma product that can be used by a person with PI.
Plasma donors recognize the lifesaving impact their donations have. All donors undergo a very rigorous screening process. Plasma donation is different than blood donation. A machine collects the plasma and returns the other parts of the blood back to the donor. The collection process takes approximately 90 minutes.
Donating plasma is safe and sterile for you and those who receive the plasma-based treatment.
How Does Someone Become a Plasma Donor?
One of the first questions newly diagnosed individuals with PI hear from family members and friends is, “What can I do to help?” This is the perfect time to encourage family and friends to find out if they can become regular plasma donors. When someone chooses to donate plasma, they become an essential part of saving someone’s life. People with rare, chronic, often genetic diseases, like PI, rely on plasma protein therapies to replace the vital proteins or antibodies that they lack. Without these lifesaving plasma protein therapies, many people would not be able to lead healthy, productive lives. Choosing to become a plasma donor requires a dedication of time, attention to personal health and a willingness to become a regular donor, to ensure that the plasma used to manufacture the therapies is of the highest quality.
Who Are Plasma Partners?
The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) enjoys a strong relationship with those involved in the different stages of the process, appreciating their commitment to the collection of high-quality plasma, and dedication to the highest levels of safety and quality assurances. Here are a few of our Plasma Center Partners:
IDF works closely with these partners and IDF volunteers to arrange plasma collection center visits for people with PI and their family members. These visits provide opportunities for volunteers to share their personal stories with donors and staff, and volunteers learn firsthand the regulations that are in place to produce the safest, highest quality plasma for their lifesaving therapies. The donors and employees gain a better understanding of the lifesaving role they play in the lives of the PI community through the plasma collection process.
Interesting in getting your center involved? Learn more about IDF Plasma Partners Program fundraising and awareness initiatives.
Would you like to volunteer and thank plasma donors? Become a IDF Plasma Awareness Coordinator.