Plasma donors enable production of life-saving and life-extending medicines for people with rare and serious diseases. To help meet the growing need, CSL Plasma opened a new donation center this month in Greenacres, Florida, – its 300th in the United States.
Jenny Gardner has a primary immunodeficiency (PID) and relies on plasma-based therapy to treat her condition. PID is actually a group of several hundred immune system problems that make people more vulnerable to serious infections. Gardner visits CSL Plasma centers as part of the Adopt-A-Patient Program to spread the word about plasma-based medicine and personally thank donors.
“I rely on the immune systems of plasma donors, because I do not have a normal immune system,” Gardner said. “If I could, I would want to thank every plasma donor and every CSL Plasma employee for all you are doing for patients like me. You are saving lives.”
In addition to PID, plasma therapies treat hereditary angioedema, inherited respiratory disease, hemophilia, and other bleeding and neurological disorders.
Plasma is a straw-colored liquid that carries red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. It’s mostly water (about 90%), proteins and clotting factors (8%), and small amounts of salts, glucose (blood sugar) and lipids (fats). Plasma helps maintain a steady blood pressure and deliver proteins the body needs for blood clotting and staying healthy.
Plasma collected at CSL Plasma centers helps manufacture medicine that serves patients in more than 100 countries, said CSL Plasma Senior Vice President and General Manager Willy Pardiñas. Based in Boca Raton, CSL Plasma was recently named one of the best businesses in South Florida. On average, each CSL Plasma center employs a staff of approximately 60 people and contributes $4 million per center in payroll and donor payments.