Many people are confused about the difference between commercial plasma centers and Michigan Blood. Here's how they differ:
- Commercial plasma centers pay people to donate; Michigan Blood doesn't. Consistent with US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the blood components Michigan Blood distributes are labeled with the words "VOLUNTEER DONOR".
- Hospitals use voluntarily donated blood for transfusion to their patients.
- Commercial plasma centers are for-profit business enterprises; Michigan Blood is a nonprofit organization with a mission of community service.
- Commercial plasma centers collect only source plasma, which goes for further manufacturing into products used to treat hemophilia and immune system deficiencies, products that can help treat diseases such as tetanus and hepatitis B, and plasma-derived albumin that can be used to treat traumatic injuries such as shock and severe burns.
- Michigan Blood draws mainly whole blood, which is separated into components including plasma, specifically fresh-frozen plasma, or FFP. Michigan Blood also collects components (most often red cells and platelets) through apheresis. The blood components Michigan Blood produces go directly for transfusion for patients, with the exception of recovered plasma. This is a byproduct of making red blood cells and platelets, or FFP that is nearing the outdate for storage and is not needed for transfusion; it is sent on to companies that manufacture plasma-derived drugs.