Plasma is the straw-colored liquid in which your blood cells circulate. Plasma is composed of about 92% water, 7% proteins, and 1% nutrients. Plasma transports these needed nutrients, proteins, clotting factors, and germ-fighting antibodies throughout your body via the circulatory system.
Why is plasma important?
Plasma increases blood volume in emergencies and can be used to make products that fight infections and diseases.
It is most often used to treat:• Burn victims• Babies and new moms• Accident victims• People with immune disorders• Cancer patients
How does the donation process work?
Unlike a whole blood donation, where you give whole blood with all three blood components—plasma donations use a special automated process called apheresis (AYfur-EE-sis) to collect only your plasma.
The apheresis process uses a cell separator that collects plasma by spinning the blood during your donation, separating the plasma from the other blood components. The plasma is collected in separate bags and the remainder of your blood is returned to you along with some anticoagulant. This cycle is repeated several times to generate the required volume of plasma.
When you make a plasma donation, you donate approximately two to three times the amount of plasma than can be obtained from a whole blood donation. A patient needing plasma will often require large volumes for their treatment. You can give more of this product in one donation to help patients in need.
From registration through refreshment, when you donate plasma you should allow about 90 minutes. This allows you plenty of time to register and answer the questionnaire, give your donation and then relax afterwards. This extra time you take to give is vitally important for the much-needed plasma patients rely on every day.
You can donate plasma every 28 days. Please consider donating plasma as part of your regular routine.
In addition to general eligibility requirements, only males are eligible to donate plasma. Your blood volume (based on height and weight) may also play a role in giving plasma. Donors who make a plasma donation must sign an additional consent form at the time of donation.
Memorial Blood Centers only collects plasma from male donors in an effort to eliminate nearly all risk of TRALI (Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury)—a rare but serious complication—to plasma recipients.
Plasma contains antibodies thought to cause TRALI. These antibodies develop when an individual is exposed to cells from another person, such as during pregnancy or transfusion. This means that more women carry these antibodies than men. Plasma transfusions that contain these antibodies may lead to complications for recipients, including severe breathing problems and sometimes death.
Female platelet donors may be eligible to donate concurrent plasma, meaning that plasma and platelets are donated at the same time. Women may also consider a double red cell donation or whole blood donation.
AB blood type is the only plasma that can be safely transfused to anyone in an emergency and is always in high demand.
Talk with one of our donor specialists at 1.888.448.3253 or schedule an appointment today.