Most people are familiar with blood donation, its benefits, and how it can help save lives. However, a related and equally vital process is plasma donation, which many people have not yet heard of. Plasma is the pale, yellow part of the blood, making up almost 50 percent of the substance apart from the water, proteins, and salts present. It is crucial for supporting healthy blood pressure, a proper pH balance, and the right blood volume.
If the body didn’t have plasma, it wouldn’t have the proteins it needs to perform blood clotting and crucial immune system responses. Plasma also transports the electrolytes our muscles need to perform daily activities. Here’s what you need to know about plasma donations:
The Purpose of Donating Plasma
Blood donation is done for more general purposes, but plasma donation fulfills more specific purposes. It helps individuals who have suffered from severe trauma, like shocks or burns, or those with cancer. It also helps people with liver or clotting factor disorders.
Facilities can freeze and store donated plasma for up to a year. The United States needs almost 10,000 units of plasma every day, with plasma transfusions saving many lives. For this reason, plasma donations are just as important as blood donations, so it is crucial to support plasma donation efforts.
Who Benefits From Plasma Donations?
When individuals suffer from severe trauma, shock, or burns, they usually lose a substantial amount of blood volume and electrolytes. The body needs electrolytes to balance the other components it carries, like water, nutrients, and the pH level inside. A plasma transfusion can replenish the lost blood volume, helping the individual restore their blood pressure and volume status while increasing electrolyte levels.
Those with liver disease or clotting factor disorder may also lack the adequate substances their blood needs to clot correctly. That means when these people get wounded, they’ll continue bleeding unless their clotting factors are adequate. Plasma donations are crucial for these people as they supply the plasma needed to support the body’s clotting ability and prevent excessive bleeding from happening.
In other instances, children and adults diagnosed with cancer often experience complications in their bodies from having used up all natural clotting factors. This disorder, called disseminated intravascular coagulation, can be treated with transfusions of fresh frozen plasma.
The Plasma Donation Process
The process of donating plasma is similar to regular blood donation but with a few extra steps. When you donate blood, the nurse will extract blood from you and send it to a laboratory, where technicians will separate it into its main parts: red blood cells, platelets, and plasma for separate transfusions. This is where patients get their plasma.
On the other hand, during a plasma donation, the nurse will extract blood from the donor’s arm and subject it to an automated process that separates the plasma from the rest of the blood. What remains is red blood cells and platelets that return to the donor through their arm with a small amount of saline to support the overall volume. One plasma donation supplies enough for up to three patients.
The Ideal Blood Type for Plasma Donation
The best blood types for plasma donations are AB+ and AB-. AB can be given to patients with any blood type, making it the universal blood type for plasma donations. It is vital in trauma care, as there is often not enough time to verify the patient’s blood type before the transfusion. Unfortunately, only 4 percent of the population has AB-type blood, which means there is a higher demand for AB plasma than the available supply. Donors can donate plasma every 28 days, and the average donation takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. At thplasma, the process takes 35 to 45 minutes.
Donating your plasma can not only save lives but help you make money. It’s a safe process that gives patients what they need to overcome their condition and increase their chances of survival. Now that you know more about plasma donation, you can check with your nearest plasma donation center to see if you are eligible to donate and earn some money from it.
thplasma is a plasma donation company steeped in community, driven by innovation, and guided by genuine care for our employees and donors. Make some money while making a difference by donating plasma with us today!