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Donate plasma

What is plasma

Blood is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets suspended in a fluid called plasma. Your plasma can be used for a range of medical treatments as it contains very important proteins, nutrients and clotting factors which help to prevent or stop bleeding.

You can donate plasma whenever you like, as frequently as every 2 weeks. Find your nearest donor centre.

How plasma donation works

You donate plasma by a process called apheresis. It takes about 45 minutes for the actual donation, but allow about an hour and a half for the whole appointment. This means you’ll get some extra time to relax, read a book, or take advantage of our free WiFi. Learn more about how to prepare, what to expect and the plasma donation process.

How to become a plasma donor

Most people are able to give plasma if they:

  • feel fit and healthy
  • are aged between 18 and 70
  • weigh over 50kg
  • meet the eligibility requirements covered in the Donor Questionnaire (which you will fill out in the donor centre before you donate).

You may be temporarily unable to donate plasma if you:

  • are on certain medications or antibiotics, have a cold or are feeling unwell in any way
  • have certain medical conditions
  • have recently changed medications
  • have recently had surgery
  • have recently had a piercing
  • have had a tattoo in the past 4 months.

You will not be able to donate plasma if you:

  • have visited or lived in the UK for a cumulative total of 6 months or more between 1980 and 1996
  • have engaged in male to male sexual activity or other specified at-risk sexual activity in the past 12 months
  • have recently been pregnant or given birth
  • have ever had a serious heart condition
  • have ever had a serious blood disorder or disease
  • have ever injected or been injected with drugs not prescribed by a doctor or dentist. 

Your ability to donate plasma depends on the suitability of your veins and your haemoglobin level (both of which will be assessed in our donor centre). Find out how to prepare for your plasma donation.

Who plasma donations help

Plasma is amazingly versatile. It’s constantly in demand to treat a growing number of life-threatening conditions and for 18 vital medical treatments:

1. Protecting kids against chicken pox

10. Protecting against tetanus

2. Fighting against tetanus infection

11. Fighting infection during bone marrow transplants

3. During complex heart surgery

12. Protecting those exposed to hepatitis B

4. Treating brain disorders

13. Protecting against RH disease in newborns

5. Preventing blood clots in patients with rare blood disorders

14. Treating patients with haemophilia B

6. Helping stop critical bleeding

15. Supporting patients with severe kidney diseases

7. Protecting patients with immune deficiencies

16. Protecting against measles

8. Treating complications from liver disease

17. Preventing deep vein thrombosis in patients
with rare blood disorders

9. Treating rare inherited blood disorders

18. Treating complications from severe burns

Thank you for your interest in donating plasma. If you have any questions, give us a call on 13 14 95 or to make an appointment, contact your local donor centre.

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