B.C.’s first plasma clinic to open in Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C.’s first plasma clinic to open in Kelowna

Canadian Blood Services will open its new plasma clinic at Orchard Park Shopping Centre in July.
March 21, 2021 - 10:29 AM

B.C. will see its first plasma clinic open this July in the Okanagan.

Canadian Blood Services will be closing the Kelowna blood donation clinic at the end of March on Dilworth Drive for a plasma clinic. The new clinic will open at Orchard Park Shopping Centre on July 6. Pop-up blood donation clinics will still be available in other Central Okanagan communities, said Janna Pantella, business development manager for the site in Kelowna.

READ MORE: Canadian Blood Services donations increase in Kelowna, across the country

“Kelowna’s got an absolutely incredible donor base that historically has been so supportive of Canadian Blood Services and the hope is that they’ll support the new plasma intuitive,” Pantella said.

The new clinic’s opening is part of a nation-wide initiative to open plasma clinics because of the growing demand for it in Canada, she said. Kelowna’s clinic will be the third open in Canada, the others are located in Lethbridge, Alta. and Sudbury Ont.

The locations were chosen for their strong sense of community and demographics. Colleges and universities are great for supporting these types of locations, Pantella said.

The amount of plasma Canadian Blood Services currently collect only meets about 13-14% of the need for immune globulin that is one of the plasma protein products in highest demand. Finished products are made from plasma donated by paid donors in the United States.

“Buying plasma is not unique to Canada and provides a means of ensuring the security of supply for patients. Without this system, patients who depend on these drugs would not have ready access to the therapies they need,” according to a Canadian Blood Services statement.

Plasma is the liquid portion of blood and it’s commonly given to trauma, burn and shock patients, as well as people with severe liver disease or multiple clotting, according to The American Red Cross.

Since people can recreate plasma within 48 hours, men can donate once every seven days and women every two weeks, Pantella said.

To collect plasma, donors must still meet the same screening questions as to give blood and will be hooked to a machine with a needle. Plasma collection is lengthier than blood collection, and usually takes between one to two hours, according to Health Canada. White and red blood cells are cycled back to donors through the collection process.

For more information on how to donate, visit the Canadian Blood Services’ website.


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