WHAT IS PLASMA USED FOR?
Plasma, the yellowish liquid portion of your blood, contains hundreds of proteins such as antibodies to fight disease and clotting factors which control blood clotting. If any of these plasma proteins are not present in sufficient quantities, the body cannot perform certain vital functions. This can lead to a variety of chronic and life-threatening diseases.
More and more people need medicines made from human blood plasma. Some need plasma only as part of emergency medical care, such as after an accident or during an operation. Other people will, however, depend on medicines made from plasma for the rest of their lives in order to survive.
Since plasma cannot be produced artificially, those who need it depend on other people to donate plasma.
PLASMA IS AN ESSENTIAL RESOURCE
Plasma saves lives and improves the quality of life of sick people!
Important medicinal preparations made from human plasma proteins include
Immunoglobulins or “antibodies”; the global demand for which is constantly increasing. There are numerous possible uses for immunoglobulins:
Alpha-1-proteinase inhibitor: People with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency suffer from chronic emphysema and liver damage, which can be fatal if left untreated. By taking a drug to replenish this enzyme, these people can lead an almost normal life.
Albumin: used in severe injuries or burns where protein and fluid loss can cause life-threatening shock; stabilises circulation.
Fibrinogen / fibrin glue: can be used to treat the most severe injuries to internal organs and for local wound closure. Torn tendons and severed nerves in neurosurgery can also be reconnected with fibrin glue.
Anti-D immunoglobulins: prevent dreaded pregnancy complications arising from blood group incompatibility between the mother and child (rhesus disease).
Coagulation factor concentrates: haemophilia patients lack clotting factor, which means that the body cannot control bleeding. This can lead to joint damage, and, in severe cases, bleeding in the brain or in vital organs. Through the prophylactic administration of recombinant or plasmatic clotting factors, these people can lead a largely normal life.
FROM PLASMA DONATION TO FINISHED MEDICINE
The process of producing medicines from plasma proteins is long and complex.
It takes up to twelve months from the time of the plasma donation to the finished drug ready to treat patients.
Each plasma donation is freeze-stored for 60 days before it is combined with other plasma donations for further processing. This starting mixture, consisting of many individual donations, is tested again before the actual manufacturing process, called fractionation, begins.
Plasma fractionation is a process used to extract proteins from human blood plasma. Here, the plasma is separated into separate components and purified with the help of various physical methods.
Since plasma cannot yet be produced artificially, the manufacture of many medicines relies on plasma donations!
HEALTHCARE II GMBH
Plasmavita Healthcare II GmbH, based in Vienna, is a modern company specialising in the collection of human blood plasma for further processing into pharmaceuticals.
Plasmavita plays a leading role in the collection of plasma donations and, therefore, in patient care.