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How Frequently Can You Donate Plasma?

Plasma donation plays an important role in fulfilling the need for blood and blood components in many hospitals and treatment facilities.

How Frequently Can You Donate Plasma?

How Frequently Can You Donate Plasma?

American Red Cross association allows people to donate blood only once in a month while many private companies may allow the individuals to donate plasma many times a week.(1)

According to the American Red Cross society, a person can donate plasma only once in 28 days i.e. 13 times each year.

Too Frequent Plasma Donation Impacts Quality

Research suggests, too frequent plasma donation might negatively impact the quality of plasma. It is due to the body’s ability to quickly regenerate the important components of plasma.

In research that investigated plasma from people of different countries, it was found that in the United States, people who donated frequently and in higher volumes had lower total protein, albumin, and other blood markers.(2)

Plasma donation should be done under the observation of a doctor, whether it’s for some disease or other reasons. He can review the medical history and let you know the safest way to donate the plasma.

Which Of The Plasma Types Are Most Needed?

AB plasma donations are the most important as this plasma is universal and can be administered by patients of all blood types.

A type of plasma called convalescent plasma is a type that can be donated from the people who have recovered from a disease.(3) The antibody-containing plasma can be used to help people recover from a disease.

Who Is An Eligible Person To Donate Plasma?

There are certain factors that need to be ruled out in a person who is willing to donate plasma. They are as follows:

  • Illness: Those who are suffering from any kind of illness such as fever, productive cough, or generally any type of illness should not donate plasma. It also applies to those receiving antibiotics for any infection.
  • Medical Conditions: There are 23 medical conditions that should be screened in a person who donates blood. A few are hepatitis and HIV.(4)
  • Low Iron: Low levels of iron or hemoglobin also disqualifies a person from blood and platelet donation. Plasma donation does not remove the blood cells, so there are still chances for people with low iron to donate plasma.
  • Medications: There are certain medical conditions and procedures that may affect whether a person can donate plasma or not.
  • Travel: If a person has traveled to a certain area of the world, he can be disqualified, for being infected with a certain illness such as Ebola or Zika virus.

Why Is Plasma Donation Important?

The human body contains blood cells and plasma. Plasma contains water, protein, sugar, fats, and other nutrients.

Blood plasma has a variety of important functions inside the body, which are:

  • Maintaining pH levels
  • Regulating blood pressure and blood volume
  • Circulating blood clotting proteins, electrolytes, and other nutrients required for cellular metabolism

Plasma donation is important as it can be helpful in treating patients who have experienced:

  • Trauma
  • Shock
  • Burns
  • Severe liver disease
  • Clotting factor deficiencies

Side Effects Of Plasma Donation

There are a few side effects associated with plasma donation that include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Discomfort
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to citrate
  • Bruising

After plasma donation the nurse checks on for any side effects. Any concerns or side effects should be discussed with the doctor.

People can save a life by donating blood, but they should be aware of the factors that can affect how often they can give blood. Depending on the type of donation, they can leave sometime in between donations, depending on the type of donation they choose (plasma donation, platelet donation, or whole blood donation).

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 2, 2021

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