Plasmapheresis is the selective removal of just
the plasma (liquid) component of the blood. In
the process, the donor's blood is drawn and passed through a machine
which separates the components, removes the plasma and returns the
red cells back to the donor.
Why are Plasma Donations Important?
A: Over 40 million hospital patients use plasma products
each year and the need for these products is growing in the
Central Valley. Newborn babies, Leukemia patients,
burn victims, trauma patients, hemophiliacs and transplant or
cardiovascular surgery patients use plasma to help them recover from
their illness or injury. Plasma improves a patient's ability
to stop bleeding by supplementing clotting factors, and it restores
blood volume to the patient. Burn victims can often use
several hundred units of plasma during their recovery period.
Q: Why are Donors with Type AB
Blood Important for Plasma Donations?
A: Type AB donors are considered the universal plasma
donor as their plasma can be given safely to any patient regardless
of their blood type. However, red blood cells from type AB
donors can only be received by 3-4% of patients. Plasma is the
most important component our community needs from type AB donors.
Q: How Long Does it Take to
A: The entire donation process,
including screening, takes about one hour (roughly 15 minutes more
than a whole blood donation), 30 to 35 minutes of the donation
process is spent on the plasma machine.
Q: How Does the Plasma
A: After you sit in the chair, a
needle is placed in your vein and your blood is pumped into a
specialized spinning device that separates the plasma from the other
whole blood components, such as red and white blood cells and
platelets. While the plasma is collected, the other blood
components are filtered into a reservoir. The red and white
blood cells and platelets are then returned to your body.
Q: Who can Donate?
A: The donation criteria are the
same for whole blood; therefore, donors must be at least
17-years-old, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in good general
health. Donors will still complete the screening process, as
with whole blood.
Q: How Often Can I Give
A: You can donate plasma every 28
days instead of every 56 days, as with whole blood. Plasma can
be donated more frequently because the body replaces plasma within a
Q: How Can I Make an
A: Call the Central California Blood
Center at (559) 389-LIFE