We celebrate plasma donor week
Every year the International Plasma Awareness Week is celebrated, a week in which attention is focused on the importance of plasma donation. From Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona we want to join this initiative to make society aware of the benefits and therapies that exist thanks to the donation of plasma.
Surely you will ask yourself, what is the difference between donating plasma and donating blood? Although both actions are just as important in saving lives, there are big differences between them.
Donating blood is intended for the treatment of diseases that cause anaemia, the treatment of different types of cancer or surgical interventions.
Donating blood is very simple. You only need to be in good health, be between 18 and 70 years old and weigh more than 50 kg. The process is fast and about 450 cc of blood are drawn, which after a few days is fully recovered.
Finally, women can donate up to 3 times a year and, in the case of men, up to 4 times a year.
On the other hand, if we talk about donating plasma, there are subtle differences compared to donating blood. First of all, and as with blood, plasma donation is intended for the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's, for example.
Second, the plasma extraction process is different. Blood is drawn, the blood cells are separated by means of a cell separator, the plasma is saved and the remainder is returned by the same route.
This process that may seem more complicated, in reality it is not, and a plasma donor can donate again after 15 days, since the recovery is much faster.
A plasma that treats Alzheimer's
At Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona we have a new unit whose main mission is to use plasma to treat people with mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease.
In this center we apply the Ambar® procedure, also known as plasma exchange or plasmapheresis. We withdraw the blood from the person with Alzheimer's, centrifuge it to separate the cells, and return it to them, replacing it with albumin.
This procedure has proven to be very effective in slowing down cognitive decline and lengthening the autonomy of people with Alzheimer's, since it prevents the deposition of beta amyloid proteins in the brain, which cause senile plaques that destroy neuronal connections.
Ace Alzheimer Center participated from the beginning in the clinical program designed and directed by Grifols since 2004 with this line of research, which culminated in a clinical trial, the results of which were published in one of the most important journals in the sector.
In the following video we explain the Ambar® procedure:
Donate plasma to save lives
Now that you know the benefits and applications of plasma, we encourage you to contact the blood bank of your state to become a plasma donor. Thanks to this, you will help people with Alzheimer's or other diseases to have a future.