Donating the plasma component of your blood is similar to a blood donation. Whole blood is drawn from your arm, then filtered through plasmapheresis, which involves separating out the plasma. The red blood cells and other cellular components are then returned to your body along with a solution to help replace the removed plasma. It's helpful to know how to prepare your body for plasma donation and how to help replace the protein in your blood to help with recovery.
Plasma Contains Protein
Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are the components in your blood plasma. Plasma is 90 percent water and contains more than 500 proteins. There are two main types of proteins in your plasma. Albumin serves an important role as a carrier for hormones, vitamins and glucose and aids in fat metabolism and binding fatty acids. Globulin protein helps with blood clotting and other vital functions in addition to supporting the immune system.
Read More: What Proteins Are in Blood Plasma?
- Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are the components in your blood plasma.
- Globulin protein helps with blood clotting and other vital functions in addition to supporting the immune system.
Pack on Protein Before Donating
How to Counteract Feeling Tired After You Donate Plasma
- Shrimp :
Pump Up the Iron
- Breakfast cereals (iron-enriched)
Avoid Fatty Foods
Giving Blood & Weight Loss
Foods containing excessive fat, such as:
- French fries
- potato chips
- burgers or sweets
- should be avoided the day before
- the day of your donation
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Skip that glass of red wine or alcohol the day before or after donating. Drink 6 to 8 cups of water or juice the night before and the day of your donation. Hydrating your body will shorten the time it will take to replenish itself.
Read More: How Much Water Should an Active Adult Drink?
- Skip that glass of red wine or alcohol the day before or after donating.
- Drink 6 to 8 cups of water or juice the night before and the day of your donation.
Eating the Day Of
Not more than three hours before you're scheduled to donate, eat a meal rich in protein and iron including the foods listed above 4. Do not overeat. Just consume a healthy portion of protein, such as lean meat, along with complex carbohydrates prior to your session — you'll make it easier to replace proteins after the loss associated with donating plasma.
After Donating Plasma
Don’t smoke for 30 minutes or drink alcohol or caffeine for at least four hours after donating plasma 14. It's also advisable to avoid hard or prolonged exercise after your plasma donation. You should drink plenty of water and consume meals rich in protein and iron to restore the plasma blood levels. If you plan to participate in plasma donation on a regular basis, be sure to eat the recommended daily amount of protein and maintain your iron levels. It takes 48 hours for your body to replace plasma. According to The Blood Connection, you need to wait 28 days before you can donate again 7.
Factors That May Prevent Donation
- having a history of hepatitis or HIV
- getting a tattoo or piercing within the past year
- being under the minimum weight of 110 pounds (there is no maximum weight limit)
- being younger than 18 or older than 65
- having a history of cancer
- taking certain medications, such as antiplatelet agents, anticoagulants, acne medications or insulin
- having recently ingested drugs or alcohol
- eating fatty foods within the past 24 hours :
How to Counteract Feeling Tired After You Donate Plasma
Giving Blood & Weight Loss
Smoking Before Donating Blood
Running After Giving Blood
How to Reduce Arm Pain After Donating Plasma
Can You Drink Coffee Before Donating Blood?
Reasons Why You Cannot Donate Plasma
How to Increase Protein Levels In Your Blood
A 28-Day Meal Plan
Disadvantages to Donating Plasma
- Donating Plasma: Donor Frequently Asked Questions
- Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition: Chapter 101-Serum Albumin and Globulin
- Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020: Daily Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations
- OctaPharma Plasma: Health and Nutrition Tips
- Versiti: Medication Deferral List
- BPL Plasma: New Donors: Donation Eligibility
- The Blood Connection: Common Questions
- Kaplan AA, Fridey JL. Therapeutic apheresis (plasma exchange or cytapheresis): Complications. UpToDate. March 2020.
- Kaplan AA, Fridey JL. Therapeutic Apheresis (Plasma Exchange or Cytapheresis): Complications. UpToDate. Updated August 2, 2018. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/therapeutic-apheresis-plasma-exchange-or-cytapheresis-complications.
- Olek MJ, Howard J. Treatment of Acute Exacerbations of Multiple Sclerosis in Adults. UpToDate. Updated October 9, 2018. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-acute-exacerbations-of-multiple-sclerosis-in-adults.
- Bobati SS, Naik KR. Therapeutic Plasma Exchange - An Emerging Treatment Modality in Patients with Neurologic and Non-Neurologic Diseases. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017;11(8):EC35-EC37. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2017/27073.10480
- Cleveland Clinic. Plasmaphoresis in MS.
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- USFDA. Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Daily roundup, March 24, 2020. Updated March 24, 2020.
- Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai to begin the transfer of COVID-19 antibodies into critically ill patients. Updated March 24, 2020.
- Michigan State University. National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.
- USFDA. Recommendations for investigational COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Updated April 13, 2020.
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- Bobati SS, Naik KR. Therapeutic plasma exchange - An emerging treatment modality in patients with neurologic and non-neurologic diseases. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017;11(8):EC35-EC37. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2017/27073.10480
- UT Southwestern Medical Center. Therapeutic plasma exchange.
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- Saint Luke's. Understanding therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE).
- Beth Israel Lahey Health Winchester Hospital. Plasmapheresis. Updated August 21, 2018.
- Szczeklik W, Wawrzycka K, Włudarczyk A, et al. Complications in patients treated with plasmapheresis in the intensive care unit. Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther. 2013;45(1):7-13. doi:10.5603/AIT.2013.0002
- Kaplan AA, Fridey JL. Therapeutic apheresis (plasma exchange or cytapheresis): Complications. March 2020.
- Harris ES, Meiselman HJ, Moriarty PM, Metzger A, Malkovsky M. Therapeutic plasma exchange for the treatment of systemic sclerosis: A comprehensive review and analysis. Journal of Scleroderma and Related Disorders. 2018;3(2):132-152. doi:10.1177/2397198318758606
- Ehler J, Blechinger S, Rommer PS, et al. Treatment of the First Acute Relapse Following Therapeutic Plasma Exchange in Formerly Glucocorticosteroid-Unresponsive Multiple Sclerosis Patients-A Multicenter Study to Evaluate Glucocorticosteroid Responsiveness. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017;18(8):1749. Published 2017 Aug 11. doi:10.3390/ijms18081749.
- Harris ES, Meiselman HJ, Moriarty PM, Metzger A, Malkovsky M. Therapeutic Plasma Exchange for the Treatment of Systemic Sclerosis: A Comprehensive Review and Analysis. Journal of Scleroderma and Related Disorders. 2018;3(2):132–152. doi:10.1177/2397198318758606.
- Kaplan AA, Fridey JL. Therapeutic Apheresis (Plasma Exchange or Cytapheresis): Complications. Updated August 2, 2018.
- Olek MJ, Howard J. Treatment of Acute Exacerbations of Multiple Sclerosis in Adults. Updated October 9, 2018.
- Panayiota P, Ben-Hur T, Adi Vaknin D, Oded A, Dimitrios K. Clinical Efficacy of Plasma-Exchange in Patients With Progressive Forms of Multiple Sclerosis and NMO-Spectrum Disease. Journal of Multiple Sclerosis. 2016;3:181. doi:10.4172/2376-0389.1000181.
- Schwartz J, Padmanabhan A, Aqui N, et al. Guidelines on the Use of Therapeutic Apheresis in Clinical Practice-Evidence-Based Approach from the Writing Committee of the American Society for Apheresis: The Seventh Special Issue. Journal of Clinical Apheresis. 2016;31(3):149–62. doi:10.1002/jca.21470.
Gord Kerr's professional background is primarily in business and management consulting. In 1991, Kerr started writing freelance for a small local newspaper, "The Summerland Review," and a leading sailing publication, "Cruising World Magazine." Kerr has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfred Laurier University.