You may be surprised to learn that plasma – the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of your blood – is a lifeline for thousands of people with rare, chronic and complex diseases. There is an urgent need for human plasma across the nation, and particularly in Florida. That is why I am excited to share that BioLife Plasma Services, part of the global biopharmaceutical company Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, recently opened a new plasma collection center right here in Jacksonville.
Because plasma cannot be produced in a lab, those who rely on plasma-derived therapies are dependent on people regularly donating their plasma, in order to receive continuous care. On average, hundreds to more than a thousand donations are needed to provide enough therapy for one patient over the course of one year.
Through a simple, low-risk process called plasmapheresis, plasma is separated from the blood and the blood elements are returned back into the donor’s body. Once the plasma is donated, it is processed into a wide variety of life-saving therapies for people around the world with life-threatening diseases, such as immune deficiencies, hemophilia and hereditary angioedema. Since the body quickly replaces the plasma removed during the donation process, healthy individuals can actually donate twice a week with at least one day between donations.
Even being fairly new to the Jacksonville area, I have seen firsthand how our community bands together for people in need, and I encourage our friends, relatives and neighbors to consider donating plasma because it is a simple way to help others. The more individuals we can identify, the more plasma we can possibly collect, and the more therapies we can potentially provide to those who rely on them.
Donating plasma is easy as 1-2-3:
- If you are interested in becoming a donor, make an online appointment to visit the Jacksonville center (9312 Arlington Expy., Jacksonville, FL 32225). You must be at least 18 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and pass all other required donor eligibility criteria, including a physical examination at their first visit and screenings at each visit.
- Your first visit including a physical examination, medical screening and the plasma donation, usually takes about two hours.
- BioLife will compensate you for your time and commitment to donate plasma.
Our donors can take comfort in knowing that due to the global pandemic, BioLife has implemented additional screening and safety measures in line with public health guidance to help guarantee the safety and health of all donors and employees. I am thrilled to be a part of this new center opening and encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about BioLife Plasma Services, the donation process, and how to schedule an appointment, to please visit the BioLife website.
Plasma donation is an opportunity for healthy individuals from all walks of life to make a big difference in their communities. I am hopeful that the Jacksonville community will consider donating plasma to help make a difference for these patients’ lives.
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