Saving lives with plasma donations – Part 1
More and more people need medication produced from blood plasma throughout their lives. For this purpose, the plasma is separated into its individual components and processed. In the first part of this blog article we show two examples of what medicines are made from your blood plasma.
What medicines from plasma proteins are needed for
Some people need plasma as part of emergency medical care, such as after an accident or surgery. Other patients, for example those with an immune system disease, are dependent on blood plasma medication for their entire lives in order to survive.
Among the best-known drugs produced from plasma are the coagulation factor preparations. Since the 1960s, these have been able to isolate coagulation factor VII from human blood plasma and use it for treatment. These are needed, for example, for people with haemophilia (blood disorders). Due to a genetic effect, these patients lack an important protein that stops bleeding. Insufficient coagulation is dangerous because even in the case of slight, spontaneously occurring damage to blood vessels, the blood is no longer able to repair itself – i.e. to form a crust of platelets. Bleeding can damage internal organs, joints or areas of the brain. In the case of major injuries and operations, the blood does not clot or only coagulate very slowly, which can lead to major, life-threatening blood loss.
By taking medication made from blood plasma, patients with hemophilia have almost the same life expectancy and quality of life as healthy people!
Drugs made from blood plasma enable
the people fell ill with a “normal” life.
Immunoglobulins (antibodies) are one of the most important “weapon genera” of the immune system. They circulate in the blood and “recognize” pathogens. They bind to them and thus render them harmless. BioLife isolates immunoglobulins from the blood of healthy plasma donors and uses them to produce drugs that “transfer” their immune power to sick people. Organ transplant patients also need immunoglobulins because their immune system is “slowed down” by medication to prevent it from rejecting the donor organ. The same applies to cancer patients whose immune system is weakened by chemotherapy or radiation.
Today, about 70 different forms of congenital immune defects are known. If not the defence cells themselves, but antibodies and other defence-active proteins (immunoglobulins) are affected, these are called humoral immune defects. Children with the latter can be treated very easily: Several times a month they receive a plasma-derived drug which supplies them with the missing immunoglobulins.
Immunoglobulins are extracted from human blood plasma,
isolated and processed into drugs.
Your donation counts!
These are just two examples that show how important it is to donate blood plasma. Your donation counts and enables us to take care of all patients. If you would like to know more about which patients have already been helped with medicines made from blood plasma, click here.