Plasma FAQs

What is plasma?​

Plasma is the straw-colored liquid portion of blood made up of water, salts, and proteins. For more information on plasma, click here​

 

What are plasma proteins?​

Plasma contains numerous proteins which are essential for the body to function properly. Some plasma proteins include:​ 

  • Alpha-1 Proteinase Inhibitor​ (protects the lungs) 
  • C1 Esterase Inhibitor​ (helps regulate inflammation) 
  • Clotting or Coagulation Factors​ (control bleeding)
  • Immunoglobulins or "Antibodies"​ (control the immune system and prevent illness) 

 

What are plasma protein therapies?​

Plasma protein therapies are medicines made from donated plasma. For more information on plasma protein therapies, click here

Plasma protein therapies are sometimes referred to as plasma-derived therapies, fractionated plasma products, blood products, or plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMPs). 

What do plasma protein therapies treat?

Plasma protein therapies treat a variety of chronic and life-threatening medical conditions, many times caused by insufficient levels of any one plasma protein. Some conditions include: 

  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency – patients have chronic emphysema and liver damage
  • Hereditary Angioedema – patients experience severe swelling; can be fatal if airway is obstructed 
  • Bleeding Disorders – patients cannot regulate bleeding; can be fatal if bleeding occurs in brain or vital organs 
  • Immunodeficiency Diseases – patients are chronically ill from severe, persistent, recurrent infections 
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy – patients experience progressive weakness, loss of limb function, and disability  

How are plasma protein therapies made?

The production of plasma protein therapies begins with donated plasma from healthy individuals. Plasma donations are pooled, and then individual proteins are extracted through a process called fractionation. For more details on plasma donation and the complex manufacturing process, click here.  

How is plasma collected?

Donating plasma is similar to giving blood. Plasma is collected through a process called plasmapheresis. A needle is placed into a vein in the arm and connected to a plasmapheresis machine which removes whole blood, separates the plasma from the other blood components, and then returns those components to the donor.  

What is Source plasma?

Source plasma is plasma collected from healthy donors and used exclusively to make plasma protein therapies. 

What is Recovered plasma?

Recovered plasma is plasma that is taken from a whole blood donation, rather than collected from a plasma donor through plasmapheresis. Both Source & Recovered plasma are used to make plasma protein therapies. 

Where is plasma collected?

Source plasma is collected at specialized donation centers located in the United States and Europe. To find a center near you, visit www.donatingplasma.org.  

How many plasma donation centers are there in the United States?

There are more than 900 IQPP certified plasma donation centers in the United States. To find a center near you, visit www.donatingplasma.org

How many plasma donation centers are there in Europe?

There are more than 150 IQPP certified plasma donation centers in Europe. To find a center near you, visit www.donatingplasma.org

How much plasma is collected in the United States?

Each year, millions of plasma donations are made across the United States at IQPP certified centers. Information about annual donation totals is available here

How much plasma is collected in Europe?

Each year, millions of plasma donations are made across Europe at IQPP certified centers. Information about annual donation totals is available here

What is the availability of plasma products (PPTs) in the United States?

Information about the aggregated distribution of plasma protein therapies in the U.S. is provided through PPTA’s North America Distribution Data Program, available here

What is the availability of plasma products (PDMPs) in Europe?

Information about the aggregated distribution of plasma protein therapies in Europe is provided through PPTA’s European Distribution Data Program, available here

Copyright © 2020 PPTA. All rights reserved. (202) 789-3100