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Donors at plasma center get paid, save lives

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BioLife Plasma Services recently opened a facility in Universal City and pays donors for their lifesaving plasma. Collections can be used in therapies that benefit those with rare, chronic and complex diseases, according to a spokeswoman. Courtesy photo

UNIVERSAL CITY — As demand for blood-derived therapies increases, BioLife Plasma Services not only pays donors, but also offers vital health solutions, the parent company said.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., a multinational Japan-based enterprise, focuses on metabolic conditions, gastroenterology, neurology, inflammation and oncology.

BioLife recently opened at 3150 Pat Booker Road, Suite 160. Compensation is offered for donating plasma.

Under Takeda, there are 123 facilities nationwide, a dozen in Texas, including west San Antonio.

“The high-quality plasma we collect is used to produce lifesaving and life-sustaining plasma-derived therapies that thousands of people with rare, chronic and complex diseases rely on every day,” said Julia Ellwanger, a Takeda spokeswoman.

More than 4,000 donations weekly are made at its collection centers.

Plasma is the fluid carrying blood components through the body.

“The donors not only contribute to the source of these lifesaving therapeutics, but also contribute to the vitality of their immediate neighborhoods,” Ellwanger said. “BioLife also actively contributes to the growth of communities. We create local jobs, get involved in education programs and engage in partnerships with community leaders.”

Donating is simple and done through a low-risk process called plasmapheresis, the company official said. Plasma is separated from blood, with the blood element returned to the contributor’s body.

First-time donors undergo a physical examination and medical screening. They must be 18 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. Tattoos and piercings four to 12 months old may affect eligibility.

Appointments can be made online. During the COVID-19 pandemic, face coverings or masks are required.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, plus 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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