After everything that’s happened in the last year and a half, anyone that was unfortunate enough to be hit with the Covid-19 virus has probably been encouraged to donate blood plasma.
If it’s your first time hearing of such things, it’s understandable that you might be intimidated and wary of the process. First and foremost, you should know that donating plasma is your choice. You cannot be forced to do it. Only agree to it if you are comfortable with the process.
To get comfortable, it would be better if you understood what plasma really is and the benefits of donating it. Whether you’ve heard of donating blood plasma or not, it would be very helpful to understand what it is.
This article will discuss the most basic things you should know as a potential donor.
What is it?
Most people know about red blood cells and white blood cells, but few actually understand what plasma is. Plasma is the liquid part of your blood. The primary purpose of plasma is to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. It also carries essential proteins, minerals, nutrients, and hormones to the necessary places inside your body. It’s one of the most hardworking parts of your body.
What is it Made of?
As mentioned, plasma is the liquid part of your blood. This also means that 90 percent of it is made up of water. The rest of your plasma contains salts, enzymes, antibodies, and proteins called albumin and fibrinogen.
This helps your body fight off most infections. Plasma also happens to make up most of your blood, around 55 percent. Although your blood is red when you see outside the body, plasma is actually a pale yellow color.
What is its Function?
Plasma is essential to maintaining your body’s health and proper function. The proteins, hormones, and nutrients you need to get through the day are carried and delivered by your plasma to different cells in your body.
Here are some examples of what plasma carries around throughout your body:
- Growth hormones that help your muscles and bones grow
- Clotting factors that help you stop bleeding when you get a cut
- Nutrients such as potassium and sodium help your cells work
Plasma also helps your body:
- Maintain normal blood pressure and blood volume levels
- Get rid of the chemical waste from cells by dissolving it and carrying it away
If you have been encouraged to donate plasma or are interested in making a plasma donation, this is what you need to know. Plasma donors must be 18 years or older, weighing at least 110 pounds.
Beyond that, you will also have to pass two medical examinations: a medical history screening and testing for transmissible viruses. Once you’ve passed all tests and are cleared to donate, your plasma will be used to manufacture plasma protein therapies.
Plasma is used to treat various kinds of severe health problems. The elements in your plasma—antibodies and chemicals for blood clotting—can help in medical emergencies related to burns and trauma.
Other ways that plasma donation can be used are the following:
- Developing treatments
- Cancer Treatment
- Transplant surgery
- Hemophilia Treatment
The Bottom Line
Plasma donations can save lives. For the most part, it is used to treat rare chronic diseases and disorders. But apart from that, it’s also essential for other things like transplant surgery and helping Covid-19 patients.
Plasma donation is different from blood donation in that it takes more time and commitment. However, you have a chance to help many and impact the community in a significant way.
thplasma is a different type of plasma donation company. Our company is steeped in community, driven by innovation, and guided by genuine care for our donors and employees. Our goal is to provide the highest quality service to everyone involved in the process. Find your nearest center and become a donor today!