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Tips for Donating Healthy Plasma

March 30, 2021

Plasma is a protein-rich component of blood that can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions. In order for donated plasma to actually be manufactured into life-saving therapies, however, it must first meet certain quality standards. Thankfully, as a plasma donor, there are things you can do to give your plasma the best chance of being put to good use. Keep reading to find out what they are!

What Is Considered Healthy Plasma?

There are rigorous screening processes that have been put in place to ensure that only healthy pools of plasma are used for therapeutic purposes. At plasma collection centres, donors must meet certain eligibility requirements and undergo medical examinations before giving plasma. Once their plasma is collected, centre staff check to see whether it’s discoloured or cloudy. Healthy plasma is pale-yellow and clear.

It can take anywhere from seven to twelve months for plasma protein therapies to be manufactured from the time a donation is made to the time it is ready to be given to a patient. After blood plasma leaves the collection centre, samples are tested for indicators of viral infections. Plasma products are then further safeguarded by advanced pathogen reduction processes. Only after this extensive manufacturing process is plasma considered safe to use.

The Dos and Don’ts of Plasma Donation

There are plenty of things you can do to improve the quality of your plasma as a donor. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts you should consider.

Do:

  • Drinking lots of water the day before and the day of your plasma donation appointment, ideally six to eight cups. The amount of water you drink directly affects how full your vein will be and how your plasma is separated.
  • Eat a healthy meal that’s iron and protein-rich within two hours of donating. Iron-rich foods include broccoli, beans, leafy greens, chicken, and turkey. Foods high in protein include nuts, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
  • Get a good night’s rest prior to donating. The more rested you are, the smoother and quicker your recovery will be. Your donation will also be more plentiful.

Don’t:

  • Drink alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to donating. Alcohol is a diuretic that can cause dehydration and make plasma donation more difficult.
  • Drink caffeine, in any form, on the day of your plasma donation appointment. Caffeine can cause blood vessels to constrict, making finding a vein and returning the non-plasma portions of blood back to the donor more challenging. 
  • Eat fatty foods like potato chips, pizza, and fries the day of your plasma donation appointment. These foods can negatively impact your blood tests and contribute to cloudy plasma.
  • Use tobacco or marijuana for at least eight hours prior to donating. Smoking tobacco before giving plasma can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Smoking marijuana in this time period will lead to at least a one-day deferral. 

By following these tips and tricks, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done everything on your part to ensure your plasma can be used for the greater good. Book your next plasma donation appointment today to put them into practice!