Tell us about BioLife and why it's important to donate plasma?
BioLife is a plasma collection facility, and the reason we collect plasma is because we process it into life-saving medicines for people with hemophilia, a bleeding disorder, alpha1-antitrypsin, a pulmonary deficiency, and immune deficiency. All of which are genetic disorders where people are born without the ability to produce certain proteins that prevent them from living a normal healthy life. These proteins are only found in a healthy human's plasma, and cannot not reproduced in a lab. For this reason it is very important that we have plasma donors, so that we at BioLife can collect the highest quality plasma for the patients that need these life-saving treatments.
What exactly is plasma?
Plasma is portion of the blood that is primarily water and proteins. So we strongly encourage our donors to drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated and to always eat a well-balanced meal before their donation.
What's the donation process like? How long does it take?
A typical donation visit is about an hour. However, for a new donor their first visit will take around 2 - 2½ hours. This is because in addition to their first donation we have them first meet with one of our nurses to perform a physical and record all their medical history to ensure that it is safe for them to donate. A typical donation includes a donor signing in to answer a few questions about anything that has changed since their last donation, we check all of their vitals, blood-pressure, temperature, pulse, and we take a small sample of blood from a finger prick to test the total protein and hematocrit. All of which tells us if it's safe for a donor to donate that day. Our donors then met with one of our highly trained phlebotomist to be begin the plasmapharisis process, in which we perform a needle stick to the arm that connects to a series of one-use sterile tubing that runs through a machine that is able to spin the blood to separate the plasma from the blood cells and return all the red and white blood cells back to the body. The blood never enters the machine. After we've collect the amount of plasma that safe to collect according to your body weight, we give our donors a saline solution to increase their bodily fluids so they feel well and healthy as they walk out the door.
Is it safe?
The process is very safe. Not only are we regulated by the FDA we are also audited internally by our parent company Baxter to ensure we are collecting the highest quality plasma for our patients. We have many rigorous safety and quality policies that include several things such as strict sterilization procedures, glove-changing, and close monitoring to make sure there are no abnormalities during the donation process.
How often can you donate?
Plasma regenerates in the body so quickly donors are able to donate twice a week with a day in between.
Who is eligible to donate plasma?
Our requirements for donors is that you must be between the age of 18 - 69, at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Our donors are a wide mix of individuals, whether it be students who come in and study during their donation, professionals who come in on their lunch or before or after work, military, and stay-at-home-parents - in which case we offer our supervised playroom where our experienced child-care providers will watch your children free of charge during your donation. We also offer free Wi-Fi so many of our donors take this time to relax, surf the internet, listen to music, or read a book.
What sort of promotions do you have for new donors?
We are currently offering a $100 bonus to new donors or donors who haven't been in for the last six months. The coupon can be found when you make an appointment on our website at www.biolifeplasma.com This bonus is on top of the current compensation.
What is the compensation?
This month our current compensation is 20/40, which means donors receive $20 on their first donation of the week, and $40 on their second donation of the week. So our regular donor are able to make well over $200 dollars a month. We load that on a tax-free debit card, so every time you come in we can just load the compensation on your card and you're able to use it same as cash.
How does a new donor get started?
Visit biolifeplasma.com and click on 'Schedule an appointment' set up a profile on our Easy Scheduler system and make an appointment. Our hours range from as early as 6:00am to as late as 7:00pm, and we are also open Saturdays.
Where are you located?
We have two locations in Grand Rapids. One on the north side of town near Alpine Ave behind the Star Theatre, and one in Kentwood just two miles south of the Woodland Mall off of Broadmoore Ave.
TWO GRAND RAPIDS LOCATIONS:
540 Center Dr. 3886 Broadmoore Ave. SE
Walker, MI 49544 Grand Rapids, MI 49512
(Behind Star Theater) (2 miles south of the Woodland Mall)
Schedule your appointment at WWW.BIOLIFEPLASMA.COM