Plasma as a Valuable Resource

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With the increasing demands for donor resources, a greater emphasis is being placed on maximizing the value of a single whole blood donation. Many blood centers sell recovered plasma for further manufacturing to improve their revenue stream.

Developing a cost benefit analysis may be useful in determining whether all or any of the recommendations for improving plasma recovery are applicable to an individual blood center’s process. When creating a cost benefit analysis, it is appropriate to start with the process improvement steps that provide the highest potential gain with the lowest associated cost. Based on the information discussed thus far, there are four process changes that can result in immediate gains and process efficiency: TCF, room temperature processing, standardized collection set and automated blood collection mixers. 

Changes in TCF can provide the greatest gains in plasma recovery with minimal change to process time. Room temperature processing also provides a high gain in plasma recovery (up to 5% additional plasma depending on current TCF) but the logistics and cost of implementing a continuous flow blood transport process will vary from one facility to another. In this instance, a cost benefit analysis may be very helpful in determining whether this process improvement step is cost effective for a particular center.

Standardizing all blood donor collections into a single system can impact the bottom line in a number of ways such as:
  • Universal collection system to meet all collection needs
  • Simplification of component processing
  • Simplification of inventory management
  • Streamlining IT
There are also tangible benefits of using automated blood collection mixers. The process flow benefits are:
  • Reduction of QNS units
  • Reduction of over and underweight units
  • Standardization of mixing: fewer clots and gels, less incomplete filtrations.
  • Standardization of collection volumes and elimination of the need to balance units prior to centrifugation
In some instances it may be advantageous to create a financial cost model to determine what plasma optimization steps provide the greatest benefit. Additionally, the financial cost model will provide a baseline from which any process improvements can be measured. Factors to consider when making the decision to increase plasma revenue can be broadly categorized as follows:
  • Number of whole blood collections per year
  • Full Time Equivalent (FTE) wages and benefits
  • Technician time (collection and component production)
  • Collection and production losses • Percent of units sold to fractionators
  • Estimated plasma volume per unit (sold to fractionators)
  • Plasma revenue per liter

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