Plasma for medicines
Plasma can be made into medicines to help people with genetic conditions and immune disorders.
Plasma is a yellowish liquid in your blood that carries platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells around the body. It also contains more than 700 proteins and other substances.
These proteins can be separated from the plasma and made into medicines. Each dose of medicine is made from many different plasma donations.
These medicines are given to people in small doses and are injected through a syringe.
How plasma helps
They can help people who have genetic conditions and rare immune disorders. For example, Kawasaki disease which affects young children and, without treatment, can cause serious complications that affect the heart.
Erin, 7 from Colchester relies on plasma medicines to treat a life-threatening disease, ITP. Erin has a range of other life-limiting conditions but lives life to the full thanks to donors and specialist treatment.
“She is a tornado of energy” said mum Helen.
“I am so glad there are plasma and blood donors because I would have lost my little girl a long time ago without their selfless act of donation.”
Currently these medicines are made by pharmaceutical companies and use plasma from donors outside the UK.
However, we are now able to collect plasma from UK donors to help provide lifesaving and life-enhancing medicines for people who depend on these treatments.
We are in the early stages of collecting plasma in this way and may contact you in the future and ask you donate.
You don’t know what difference it makes. Plasma donations are the juice that keeps me going.
Natalie, 26, from Borehamwood, relies on plasma medicines to protect her from serious illness and help keep her alive