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Donating Plasma

What is Plasma?

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood, carrying vital nutrients and containing critical clotting factors. Plasma donors can give every four weeks. Blood type AB is the universal plasma type.

Who Needs Plasma?

Plasma is used to treat patients with bleeding disorders, burn victims, organ transplants and premature infants.

What is Apheresis?

Apheresis (ay-fur-ee-sis) is a special kind of blood donation that allows a donor to give specific blood components, such as plasma. During the apheresis procedure, all but the needed blood component are returned to the donor.

Why is Blood Separated?

Different patients need different types of blood components, depending on their illness or injury. After you donate whole blood, the unit is separated into platelets, red cells and plasma in our laboratory.

Who Can Be an Plasmapheresis Donor?

If you have been pregnant or transfused, we ask you to donate lifesaving double red cells or whole blood. The reason for this is to reduce the risk of a serious transfusion reaction in patients known as TRALI. Blood Centers of the Pacific

If you have not been pregnant or tranfused and meet the requirements for donating blood, you probably can give plasma. Apheresis donors must:

  • be at least 17-years-old
  • be in good health
  • weigh at least 110 pounds
  • not have taken aspirin or medication containing aspirin 48 hours prior to donatiing

Are Apheresis Donations Safe?

Yes. Each donation is closely supervised throughout the procedure by trained staff. Depending on the donor’s weight, approximately 200ml to 800ml of plasma is collected. The donation equipment (needle, tubing and collection bags) is sterile and is discarded after every donation, making it virtually impossible to contract a disease from the process.

How Does the Procedure Work?

Blood is drawn from your arm through sterile tubing into a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood to separate the components, which vary in weight and density. The plasma is drawn up into a collection bag, while the remaining blood components are returned to you through your other arm.

How Long Does it Take?

Depending on your weight and height, the actual apheresis donation process will take approximately 70 minutes to two hours. You may watch television or videotapes or dvds, listen to music, surf the Internet, or simply sit back and relax while helping to save lives.

How Can I Become an Apheresis Donor?

Simply call our BCP apheresis coordinators at 1-800-707-8483 for more information or to make an appointment.

Our coordinators are in the call center:
Monday through Thursday from 9am to 8:30pm;
Friday & Saturday from 9am to 3:00pm; and
Sunday from 2:30pm to 8:30pm

We look forward to hearing from you!

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