What is Plasma?
Plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. It is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins.
Importance of Donation
Only a small number of people living in the U.S. who are eligible to donate blood or source plasma actually donate. What's important is that we encourage all forms of donation from those who are eligible, so that they may contribute life-saving blood and source plasma to those in need.
- The plasma protein therapeutics industry supports volunteerism in all of its forms, including donation. Source plasma donation and blood donation are critically important activities that contribute to saving lives. Source plasma and recovered plasma are used to produce therapies that treat people with rare, chronic diseases and disorders such as primary immunodeficiency, hemophilia and a genetic lung disease, as well as in the treatment of trauma, burns and shock. Whole blood donations most often are used locally in hospitals for transfusions required during surgery or other medical treatment. Visit www.donatingplasma.org for more information on how to become a source plasma donor.
- Plasma donation requires a commitment both in the amount of time for each donation and frequency of donation. Typically it takes between one and three hours to donate source plasma, and plasma can be donated twice within a seven day period. Whole blood donation takes less time—under 30 minutes—and donors donate less frequently—no more than once in eight weeks. The programs may fit into a donor's life differently at various times in the donor's life, and are equally important in helping to fulfill a vital medical need.