Donating plasma is vital for the health of many people in our society. Plasma is rich in important proteins like albumin, gamma globulin, and anti-hemophilic factor.
Plasma is also extremely important in our body’s immune system and in its ability to create healthy blood clots. Plasma donations provide the necessary functions and proteins to patients who are lacking in them.
So dig in and discover more about the benefits of donating plasma, both to the patients who need donations and to the donors themselves.
What is Plasma?
Plasma is one of the main components of our blood. It is made up of 92% water. The other 8% of plasma contains the important proteins listed above and a combination of salt, fats, hormones, and vitamins.
Our blood is made of various solids including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Plasma is the liquid part, which makes up about 55% of our blood.
If you’re wondering how to donate plasma, it’s similar to the process of donating blood.
The Process of Donating Plasma
Donating plasma is similar to donating blood. You make an appointment with your local blood-donation-processing clinic. This will likely be something like the American Red Cross or Canadian Blood Services, depending on where you live.
For plasma donations, you are usually required to give a blood sample before your first donation. This is to test your blood for high enough iron levels, to make sure your veins are healthy and easy to access and to ensure your blood contains enough antibodies for a proper donation.
What is a Plasma Donation and How Does it Help?
A plasma donation involves separating the plasma, or liquid part of your blood, from the solid parts of your blood. The solid parts are then returned to you with saline to help battle the dehydration that might occur.
Plasma donations benefit patients who have experienced severe physical trauma. These include people involved in high-impact accidents, burn or shock victims, and people with cancer. The blood-clotting properties of plasma are extremely beneficial for people with liver disorders and clotting-factor disorders.
Patients who have experienced shock and trauma and severe blood loss need plasma the most. Large quantities of blood are lost, and their bodies are starving for electrolytes. Plasma transfusions can replenish these crucial vitamins and minerals and help to restore their blood pressure and quantity to a healthy level.
In patients with liver and clotting disorders, regular plasma transfusions are necessary to prevent loss large amounts of blood from little injuries. Even a cut on a finger can turn into a life-or-death situation for those who do not have proper clotting abilities.
Donor Benefits of Donating Plasma
It’s not just the patients who benefit from plasma donations – the donors do as well.
- A lot of clinics provide mini check-ups before your donation. This free service can reveal things about your body like high blood pressure, low red blood cell count, and vein issues.
- Giving back to humanity has plenty of mental health benefits, including happiness, elevated feelings of confidence, and higher rates of life satisfaction.
- Donors can be inspired to improve their own physical health. Donors are required to hydrate before their appointments and eat full, healthy meals. They are also advised to avoid fatty, oily, or greasy foods. These practices can be followed even after the appointments.
Need More Reading Material?
Read our latest blog on 4 effective ways to prepare for a plasma donation.