Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. About 55% of the blood is plasma and the remaining 45% are the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets that are all suspended in the blood. The plasma consists of 92% water and 7% vital proteins that include albumin, gamma globulin, and anti-hemophilic factor. About 1% consists of minerals, fats, sugars, vitamins, and hormones. One can donate plasma to the plasma donation center.
Functions of Plasma
- Plasma helps in maintaining volume and blood pressure.
- It supplies critical proteins for immunity and blood clotting.
- Transfers electrolytes that include sodium and potassium to the muscles.
- Also helps in maintaining proper PH balance in the body thus supporting the functioning of the cell.
Understanding what blood plasma is used for
Plasma is commonly given to trauma, burn, and shock patients and also to people who are suffering from severe liver diseases or multiple clotting factor deficiencies. Pharmaceutical companies use plasma to make treatments for conditions like bleeding disorders and immune deficiencies. Some patients suffering from cancer might also need plasma. This is mostly needed for patients suffering from leukemia.
Understanding plasma donation
In the plasma-only donation, the liquid portion of the donor’s blood is separated from the cells. After that, the plasma is drawn from one arm and is collected with the help of a high-tech machine. The red blood cells and the platelets of the donor are then returned along with saline. The process is safe and it just takes a few minutes longer than the time it takes to donate the entire blood.
The plasma that is collected is then frozen within 24 hours to preserve the important clotting factors. This can be stored for up to 1 year and used for transfusion to a patient when required. These donations are often used for the hospital patients directly rather than making use of them in the pharmaceutical industry.
The plasma donation center invites plasma donors as this plasma is needed to give life to those patients whose treatments are dependent on plasma protein therapies. Donating plasma is also called the gift of life.
Only very few people are eligible to source plasma and donate it. The plasma protein therapeutics industry supports plasma donors in all their forms so that the donors can contribute to life-saving blood.
The plasma donation center urges people having type AB blood to donate plasma. The donor should be at least 18 years old. The weight of the donor should at least be 110 pounds. This is because this is the only universal plasma and can be therefore given to patients with different blood types. The AB plasma transfusions can be given to the patients immediately without losing any time trying to find out if the blood of the patient is compatible with the plasma. In emergency cases like caring for major trauma or burn patients, the time saving can mean the difference between life and death.