Plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. It is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins.
- Composed of 90% water, plasma is a transporting medium for cells and a variety of substances vital to the human body.
- Plasma carries out a variety of functions in the body, including clotting blood, fighting diseases and other critical functions.
- Source plasma is plasma that is collected from healthy, voluntary donors through a process called plasmapheresis and is used exclusively for further manufacturing into final therapies (fractionation). Source plasma donors may be compensated for their time and effort.
- Recovered plasma is collected through whole blood donation in which plasma is separated from its cellular components. Recovered plasma may be used for fractionation
Importance of Donation
Only a small number of people living in the U.S. who are eligible to donate blood or source plasma actually donate. What’s important is that we encourage all forms of donation from those who are eligible, so that they may contribute life-saving blood and source plasma to those in need.
Specialty types of Donations
Specialty types of donations are also needed to assist the Research and Diagnostic communities come up with positive controls for test kits. Some centers have special licenses with the FDA to allow those with otherwise deferral conditions to still donate while helping others. Without these “specialty” donations the very test kits that are available currently run the risk of going on back order making it harder for your healthcare provider, clinic or hospital to do the necessary testing to conclude a proper diagnosis and begin treatment. These donations are done the same way as “normal” healthy donors, but your plasma would not be being used for transfusion but for research.