How Plasma Donation Works
It can take as many as four different donors to provide a single plasma treatment collected from whole blood donations. Plasma collected through plasmapheresis is much more efficient, and can be collected from one donor only — a much better solution. The plasma donation process is the same as for whole blood donations: registration, screening, donation and post-donation care, although some aspects of the screening step are slightly different.
If you donate more often than every 56 days, a clothes-on physical exam is required. You may donate every 56 days without a physical exam.
Safe and Sterile
With plasmapheresis, only the plasma portion of your blood is collected: all red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are returned to your body. Blood is drawn through a needle in your arm and passes through a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates your plasma and returns the rest of your blood to you through the same needle. The entire process takes an hour and a half. During your plasma donation all of the supplies that come in contact with your blood are sterile and used only once.
Plasma clinics are booked by appointment only. If you are thinking of making your first plasma donation or want to book an appointment, call the local number for your region. You can find the number and clinic location here.
Still have questions? Check these out:
How often can I donate plasma?
You can donate as often as once a week, though if you’re a new plasma donor we recommend starting at once a month.
How long does it take to donate plasma?
Each plasma donation appointment takes about an hour and a half. Plasmapheresis itself takes approximately 35 to 45 minutes.
Once I start donating plasma, can I still give blood?
Yes, although we recommend you choose just one type of donation to make regularly. If you do wish to donate both blood and plasma, you need to wait 56 days after either type of donation before making the other.
What if I change my mind about donating plasma?
You’re welcome to try different donation programs to see which you like best: blood, plasma or platelets.
What if I am not eligible to donate plasma?
Every donation is valuable and helps save lives. Blood is just as important as plasma: we appreciate your generosity and commitment, whatever you’re able to give.