New 16,700-sq.-ft. plasma collection center coming to Pasco

A new 16,700-sq.-ft. BioLife Plasma Center will be built at the southeast corner of Road 76 and Wrigley Drive in Pasco, across from the Mid-Columbia Library’s West Pasco branch.

The general contractor on the construction project, which is estimated at $2.7 million, is W.D.S. Construction Inc., of Beaver Dam, Wis.

BioLife operates plasma donation centers throughout the U.S. and processes plasma into life-saving therapeutics for patients with hemophilia and immune disorders. The plasma is also used as a blood volume replacement and in tissue sealing.

Plasma is the yellow liquid portion of whole blood that can be easily replaced by the body. Plasma makes up about 57 percent of whole blood and consists of water and proteins that help the body control bleeding and infection.

Plasma functions as an aid in the circulation of red and white blood cells and platelets.

Plasma is collected through a process called plasmapheresis. When a person donates plasma, whole blood is drawn from the body, then separate using a sterile system. The plasma is retained and the other whole blood elements are returned to the donor’s body during the plasmapheresis process.

The process takes 20 to 40 minutes longer than whole blood donation, but because the cellular components are returned to the donor body, that donor can donate as often as twice a week, with at least a day in between donations.

BioLife Plasma Services is a part of Baxalta U.S. Inc., the principal domestic operating subsidiary of Baxalta Inc. (NYSE:BXLT).

Baxalta Inc. is a $6 million global biopharmaceutical leaders in developing, manufacturing and commercializing therapies for rare and chronic conditions in hematology, oncology and immunology.

According to the company’s website, most BioLife Plasma Services centers feature 60-72 donor beds, employ 50 to 70 workers and receive up to 2,000 plasma donations per week.

Many of the centers feature free wi-fi, a supervised children’s playroom and the company offers a simple, online scheduling system.

The company has one operating plasma collection center in Bellingham, and also plans to open one in Lacey.

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