Each week, longtime health reporter Deb Pressey answers questions on our website (submit them by clicking here):
Q: Do you have any details about the plasma center opening in the old County Market store at 312 W. Kirby Ave. in Champaign?
CSL Plasma says its new Champaign plasma collection center will open in late summer or early fall.
That’s all a company spokesman was willing to say for now.
CSL Plasma is based in Boca Raton, Fla. It’s a division of the Pennsylvania-based protein biotherapies company CSL Behring, which has as its parent company Melbourne, Australia-based CSL Limited.
CSL Plasma calls itself one of the world’s largest collectors of human plasma.
Plasma is a clear-ish component in the blood that’s left after red and white blood cells, platelets and other components are removed.
Donor plasma collected by such companies as CSL supplies an important component in many pharmaceuticals used in disease treatments.
Some of the biotherapies produced by CSL Plasma’s parent company, CSL Behring, are used to treat coagulation disorders such as hemophilia, primary immune deficiencies, inherited respiratory disease and neurological disorders and are also used in burn treatment and such procedures as cardiac surgery and organ transplants, the company said on its website.
Community Blood Services of Illinois, which has a blood center in Urbana, also collects plasma. Its task is largely to supply blood products that can be used by hospitals for transfusions, but some of the plasma it collects that isn’t needed for transfusions is also sold for plasma-based drug treatments rather than having it go to waste, according to Community Blood Services spokesman Kirby Winn.
Both plasma for transfusions and pharmaceutical treatments fill important needs for patients, he said.
CSL Plasma has been steadily adding collection center sites. It opened 26 new locations in the U.S. last year and has several collection centers in Illinois.
CSL pays donors for their plasma, according to its website. The collection process takes about 90 minutes.
Eligible plasma donors must be at least 18, weigh at least 110 pounds and pass a medical screening. The Food and Drug Administration limits how frequently any one donor can give plasma to twice in seven days.
In addition to its approximately 200 collection centers, CSL Plasma has plasma logistics centers in Indianapolis and Mesquite, Texas, responsible for receiving, storing and shipping plasma. It also operates testing labs in Knoxville, Tenn., and in Germany.
CSL Plasma will open what will be the second plasma collection center in Champaign. The other, Talecris Plasma Resources, is at Country Fair Shopping Center.