Everything You Need to Know About the Plasma Donation Process
When you donate plasma, your blood is drawn into a machine that separates the different parts of your blood into red cells, platelets, and plasma.
During this process, your body loses about 16 ounces of blood. So drink an extra 16 ounces of water before and after the donation to help offset this loss.
Plasma donation is an excellent way to help people with serious diseases. But before you can donate plasma, you must meet specific health requirements.
Donators must be 18 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds (50 kg). They must also undergo a medical history screening, two separate medical exams, and testing for transmissible viruses.
During your check-in procedure, you’ll meet with a central team member who will ask questions and conduct a physical exam in a private room. You’ll need to complete this physical at least once a year.
You’ll need to bring a valid photo ID and proof of address when you arrive at the center. This will ensure that the center can contact you in case of any problems during your appointment.
The process can take up to two hours, but you’ll have plenty of time to relax and eat a snack or drink before your next donation.
When you donate plasma, your blood will be tested for infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, C, and HIV. These tests help ensure that your plasma is safe to use as medicine and help prevent the spread of disease to others.
You’ll also be screened for syphilis, a contagious infection of the genital organs. You’ll receive a serological test at your first donation, then every four months.
You’ll be permanently barred from donating plasma if the test returns positive. Your responsible physician will decide if you’re medically eligible to return to donation or whether you need to be rescreened.
In the United States, all donated blood and plasma are screened for diseases that could be transmitted to patients through blood transfusion. Screening includes questionnaires and laboratory testing of donated blood before it is used for transfusion.
Donating plasma is a simple process that helps save lives. This liquid contains essential parts of your blood, including antibodies, clotting factors, and proteins albumin and fibrinogen.
Plasma can be extracted from your blood and used to make medications for people needing it. These medications help treat burns, shock, and other injuries and illnesses.
During your plasma donation, a nurse or phlebotomist draws your blood through a needle and then sends it through tubes to a machine that collects the plasma. The plasma is then returned to you along with your red blood cells and platelets.
Some donors experience bruising or discomfort during the donation. Generally, these side effects are mild and go away in days or weeks.
Some people may feel light-headed or faint after donating plasma, especially if they have ever had low blood pressure. If you experience these symptoms, it is essential to rest and drink plenty of water.
During the plasma donation process, a technician inserts a needle into your arm’s vein and draws blood into a tube. The blood is then placed in a blood bag, about a pint (about half a liter).
Once the blood is collected, it is mixed with a sterile solution and sent to a machine that separates it into a liquid called plasma. The plasma contains all other components, including red and white blood cells, platelets, and proteins.
After approval, the plasma center staff will set you up with a specialized medical device called a plasmapheresis machine. This collects whole blood from a vein in your arm and separates the plasma into individual components.
During the donation, you may be given saline or oral fluids to help keep your circulation steady. The entire procedure can take about an hour, and the plasma center will monitor the donation to be sure you are safe and comfortable.