With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening of Canadian Blood Services’ dedicated plasma donor centre in Sudbury was delayed. However, the new Sudbury plasma donor centre is now set to open on Tuesday, December 1st at 900 Lasalle boulevard.
While Sudbury hosts Canadian Blood Services’ newest state-of-the-art Sudbury donor centre, two more centres will soon follow—one in Lethbridge, Alberta., and the other in Kelowna, B.C.
Plasma is the liquid component of blood that is necessary for manufacturing life-saving medications, such as albumin, immunoglobulins and clotting factors, which are made from different proteins found in human plasma. These medications — also called plasma protein products — help treat a variety of rare, life-threatening, chronic and genetic conditions.
The need for plasma is more than four times what is currently donated in Canada today. With your help, we can change that.
“Currently, the overwhelming majority of plasma products currently used in Canada are sourced from plasma collected in the U.S,” says Teri-Mai Armstrong, business development manager for plasma operations with Canadian Blood Services. “The demand for these medications is increasing both nationally and internationally year over year. As the national blood authority, we are responsible for ensuring Canada has a safe and secure supply of plasma, which is why we are growing our plasma collection program — starting right here in Sudbury.”
For plasma donors at the new centre, the process is very similar to donating blood. What makes giving plasma unique is that we use one needle to draw whole blood through a machine that separates and collects only plasma and then returns the rest of the blood components (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) back to the donor through the same needle. From checking in to the pre-donation screening process, donating and then helping yourself to refreshments before you go about the rest of you day, we recommend donor to dedicate 90 minutes for the first few donations, to give them ample of time to get familiar with the process and for our team to answer any questions they might have.
Giving a sense of community
“The Sudbury plasma donor centre is a place to connect—a place for people in the community to get to know each other while doing something that either saves or brings quality of life to patients in Canada, who depend on medications made from their donations,” says Armstrong. “And the opportunity to connect and help others is becoming increasing more important for our own wellbeing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All our donor centres across the country have implemented safety measures and follow current public health guidelines.”
Plasma donor centre staff plan fun events and activities each month and partner with local eateries to give donors even more savoury snack offerings. Since opening last August, the current Sudbury plasma donor centre has already teamed up with Salute Coffee Company, Twiggs Coffee Roasters, BE Greater Organics and Regency Bakery for plasma donors to enjoy delicious treats.
Making an appointment is necessary. Keeping it is crucial
To help meet Canada’s need for plasma every donation is important, and every appointment must be filled. “If we have a specific number of appointments per day, and if even five people don’t show up, that leaves us very vulnerable,” says Armstrong. “Five appointments are many litres of plasma that we were counting on collecting that day. If for whatever reason a donor can’t make their appointment time, no problem just give us a call at 1-888-2-DONATE to reschedule, and we can offer the appointment slot to someone else.”
Until the new Sudbury plasma donation centre opens on December. 1 A temporary location is available at 944 Barrydowne Rd. Appointments are available Tuesday to Friday 7 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
Call 1-888-2-DONATE or make an appointment online at www.blood.ca.