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Baltimore-area residents have a unique opportunity to help others through plasma donation. Over the past year, you may have heard about convalescent plasma for the first time surrounding its potential use in treating COVID-19.
However, for more than 80 years, plasma has been a lifeline for thousands of people who are immunocompromised or live with a variety of complex and chronic diseases. Donating plasma and transforming it into life-saving medicines continues to be essential, especially as more and more people need these medicines. That is why I am excited to share BioLife Plasma Services has recently opened a new plasma donation center in Towson, located at 919 Taylor Avenue.
Why are plasma donations so important? With plasma donations lower than usual through the pandemic and demand for plasma-derived therapies growing worldwide, the need for plasma is more urgent than ever. Plasma donations received at BioLife centers are used by its parent company, Takeda, to make established therapies for people who are immunocompromised and don’t have alternative treatment options.
Plasma cannot be produced in a lab, which means those who rely on therapies developed from plasma are dependent on other people regularly donating. On average, hundreds to more than a thousand donations are needed to provide enough medicine for one patient over the course of one year.
Maryland is home to two other BioLife centers located in Baltimore (421 Baltimore National Pike) and outside Washington, D.C. in Riverdale (6200 Baltimore Ave.). These sites are part of a growing network of more than 150 state- of-the-art plasma donation centers in the U.S. to address an urgent patient need for plasma.
Having lived in and been educated in the National Capitol Region for several years, I’ve seen first-hand how our community bands together for people in need, and I encourage our friends, relatives and neighbors to consider donating plasma— it’s a simple way to help others. The more plasma donations we collect, the more therapies we can potentially provide to those who rely on them.
Here are the top three things to know about donating plasma:
1. You can make an online appointment to visit a Baltimore-area center by going to BioLifePlasma.com. There are some eligibility requirements to keep in mind: you must be at least 18 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and pass all other required donor eligibility criteria, including a physical examination at your first visit and screenings at each visit.
2. Your first visit usually takes about two hours between the physical examination and donation process. Future appointments take less time.
3. BioLife will compensate you for your time and commitment to donate plasma.
Learn more about current promotions at the BioLife website https://www.biolifeplasma.com/
The Towson center is actively seeking healthy donors, who have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the community through plasma donation. I am thrilled to be a part of this new center and encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about BioLife, the donation process and how to schedule an appointment, to please visit the BioLife website.
Plasma donation is an opportunity for healthy individuals from all walks of life to make a big difference in their communities. All plasma donations can be considered a “gift of life” as they are used to make life-saving and life-sustaining therapies, often for those with few or no alternative treatment options. I am hopeful that the Baltimore community will consider donating plasma to help make a difference in these peoples’ lives.