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More information about reactions from plasma donations

Vasovagal reactions and bruising/haematoma are the most frequent complications associated plasma donation, but they occur less frequently than in whole blood donation.

Plasmapheresis donations are associated with the lowest frequency of adverse reactions. Citrate reactions occur when small amounts of citrate (used in plasma and platelet collections) are returned to you causing the level of calcium in your blood to fall slightly.  

We recommend all our plasma donors have 2 or 3 chewable calcium supplements when they arrive at the donor centre to reduce the likelihood of a citrate reaction. Refer to the following table of adverse events related to  plasma donations  during 2016- 2017.

  Total donations Donations with events Frequency Rate/10,000 donations
Faints and pre-faints 587,444 5,955 1:99 101
Needle-related injury 587,444 1,869 1:314 32
Citrate reaction 587,444 4,061 1:145 69
Total Plasmapheresis 587,444 12,283 1:48 209


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