What is Plasma?

Plasma is a straw-colored “liquid” portion of the blood, which is also composed of a “cellular” portion consisting of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Plasma is made up of:

  • Water (about 90%)
  • Proteins and clotting factors (about 10%)
  • Small amounts of salts, glucose, and lipids

Plasma contains important substances like antibodies that protect us from such diseases as hepatitis, rabies, tetanus, and chicken pox; clotting factors that stop bleeding; and proteins that can be vital to the survival of trauma and burn victims.

What is Plasmapheresis?

Plasmapheresis is a plasma donation process in which you only donate the straw-colored “liquid” portion of your blood, the plasma. A needle is placed in the vein of the donor’s arm, and the blood is collected utilizing a highly specialized medical device approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This automated instrument then separates the plasma from the bloods cellular portion (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) which are then returned to the donor through the same needle along with a saline solution to help the body replace the plasma removed from the blood.