3/7/2012 9:30 AM
Why donating plasma can help people with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis!
Article Source: Rheumatoid Arthritis Information Patient Experience page - http://www.patient-experience.com/index.php/why-donating-plasma-can-help-people-with-autoimmune-conditions-such-as-rheumatoid-arthritis/
Welcome to a guest post from Emily Sherman of SeraCare on why you should consider donating plasma to help people with autoimmune conditions!
Autoimmune illnesses are often difficult to diagnose, and since they are often chronic conditions, they can be challenging to treat as well. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition that affects the joints and skeletal system by causing pain, inflammation, and swelling. With rising cases of autoimmune disorders, there has been a greater need for research to develop better diagnostic tools and more effective treatments. Companies like SeraCare Life Sciences, Inc. look for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients to donate plasma so that they can do just that.
Patients diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis can truly benefit the medical research community by donating plasma. Researchers and IVD manufacturers are looking primarily for positive Rheumatoid Factor (RF) antibodies so that they can create positive controls for test kit validation. Donated plasma is also used for drug testing by pharmaceutical developers before the clinical trial stage is reached.
When given the opportunity, most people would choose to participate in a program that could ultimately lead to new treatments and diagnostic methods for people afflicted with the same conditions. Over the years though, I have found that most people are just simply not aware that these opportunities exist.
At many healthy plasma donation facilities, those who are diagnosed with an autoimmune condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis are deemed ineligible to donate. This is because the plasma collected is being used for injectable products or life-saving transfusions in hospitals.
A Rheumatoid Arthritis patient is, however, eligible to donate plasma for research purposes by visiting a government approved center and asking his or her healthcare provider for consent. Medical professionals need to make sure that an arthritis patient has adequate hematocrit (iron) levels as well as serum protein in order to give approval for plasma donations. While someone with arthritis is not able to save lives through donating plasma for transfusions, he or she is able to improve lives in other ways by contributing to drug development and diagnostic research.
Not only do donors benefit the Rheumatoid Arthritis community by donating plasma, but they also can benefit themselves. There have been some studies shown that donating plasma can temporarily alleviate pain by reducing the antibody levels in the bloodstream for a short period of time. While this may not be observed in all arthritis plasma donors, it is something that can be seen as an added benefit to donating plasma.
Nonetheless, donating plasma is a great way for you to contribute to medical research and help bring new treatments to life. Rheumatoid Arthritis may be difficult to treat and diagnose, but with your help and contribution to researchers you can make a difference and help advance medical technologies.
Emily says “I am the Plasma Donor Recruiter at SeraCare Life Sciences. I look for people who have been diagnosed with various infectious or autoimmune diseases to donate plasma and help improve medical research. People who are willing to donate plasma are compensated for their time and contribute to scientific discovery, research & development of pharmaceuticals, and diagnostic tools. For over 38 years, SeraCare has served the global life sciences community, with distinction. SeraCare develops and manufactures the highest quality, biologically-based products and offers a broad range of related services, backed by expertise in virology, serology, immunology, and molecular biology.”
You can find out more about SeraCare by visiting their web site at www.seracare.com