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Blood Plasma - Overview

Plasma donation is one of the ways to help people suffering from certain illnesses. It does not do any harm to a donor and is quite important for a recipient.

In a human body, blood cells are normally suspended in the yellow-colored component of the blood known as blood plasma. This substance accounts for 55% of the entire blood volume. Plasma contains approximately 90% of water and the remnant 10% is made of a variety of substances such as dissolved proteins, glucose, clotting factors, mineral ions, hormones etc. If fibrinogen and other blood clotting factors are removed from blood plasma blood serum is obtained.

There are certain criteria when it comes to plasma donation. The requirements may only slightly differ from country to country but in many countries they are basically the same.

Plasma Donation Requirements

Plasma donation is done in certified blood plasma donation centers. During one session a person can donate 0.8 liter of plasma.

Normally, there are certain restrictions and not all the people are allowed to donate their plasma. This rule applies for people who are at higher risk for HIV.

There are general requirements for plasma donation. Prior to donating a plasma the patient must fill out a medical history questionnaire as well as take tests for transmissible viruses.

Only people who are at least 18 years old are allowed to donate plasma. The person is also supposed to be at least 110 pounds in weight. It is allowed for a person to donate plasma twice a week but the period between two donations must be at least 72 hours.

Allergic people as well as those suffering from acute infections are not suitable candidates. If one has undergone a blood transfusion he/ she may donate plasma only after 12 months have passed. If one is taking antibiotics plasma donation may be approved depending on the type of antibiotic.

Women in general may donate blood plasma during menstrual bleeding but not during pregnancy. They are also allowed to donate plasma even if they are taking birth control pills.

Plasma donation is forbidden for people who are suffering from severe cases of acne on the very day of donation. If a person is suffering from arthritis he/ she needs approval of the physician since only in some cases of arthritis plasma donation may be allowed. A person suffering from; asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, heart condition etc, may be rejected from donating. Some plasma centers refuse to accept plasma from people with a family history of cancer. Intake of certain medications is taken into consideration as well.

Drinking alcohol on the day of donation is forbidden. Recent piercing or tattoo may prolong plasma donation for 4 to 12 months. Recent vaccination/ immunization, surgeries and dental procedures also must be reported.

And finally, a person must report if he/ she has donated an organ, tissue, has ever undergone transplantation or has recently been to other countries.

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