Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How is Blood Plasma Collected from Donors?

In layman's terms plasma is about 90% water plus life supporting components that include proteins, nutrients, and minerals. Plasma carries blood cells and platelets, delivers nutrients and carries off wastes.

Plasma is collected because it's vital to make therapies that maintain blood volume and pressure in patients, plus the proteins it contains support our body's immunity and blood clotting abilities.

The Plasma Collection Process

There are two ways that plasma can be collected: 

1.) The first is an automated process called plasmapheresis in which your blood extracted from your body into a machine, which separates the plasma from the other components; your blood cells, etc. are then returned to your body. This produces source plasma, the starting material before it is manufactured into the other therapies.

2.) Recovered plasma is different in the method of collection, as it is comes from whole blood donation. It is also subject to different requirements for storage, dating, labeling, and pooling.

 What A Plasma Machine Does 

In most cases, the actual process of donating plasma, Plasmapheresis, is automated. When you are hooked up to a machine in a plasma donation clinic the machine will first draw your blood into a central chamber which spins fast enough to separate the plasma from the blood.

A nurse puts a needle into your vein to extract blood; the blood travels through tubing into a machine that separates the plasma from your red blood cells; the plasma gets collected into a holding bag; and your remaining blood cells and components get returned to your body.

Once separated from the blood the plasma drops to a separate storage space in the machine and once enough plasma is collected it is then sent from the machine into a donation bottle outside.

During the plasma donation procedure, different proteins and other factors can be separated out to make life giving medicatins while the red blood cells are returned to the donor

Now that all the plasma is gone from the blood the blood is now returned to the donor and in most cases this step has no pain at all. Depending on your weight and how much plasma they take it could take anywhere from 3 to 5 cycles for the machine to get all the plasma they need.

What Happens To Plasma After Donation?

Donated plasma gets used in the manufacture of medicine or for direct transfusion into critically ill patients to increase their blood volume or help treat certain serious medical conditions.

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