Q:

How do you donate plasma?

A:

Quick Answer

To donate plasma call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule an appointment at a local American Red Cross Blood Donation Center. Donations can be made every 28 days, up to 13 times a year.

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Full Answer

Plasma is in high demand by hospitals across the country because it is a key blood component used in modern medical practice. To extract the plasma from the body, blood is drawn from an arm into an automated machine through a sterile collection set. The machine is set to either extract all plasma or a combination of plasma and platelets.

The ideal blood type for donating plasma is Type AB, as it is universal. This means that anyone can receive the blood, regardless of their type. Type AB plasma is also in high demand, as only around 4 percent of the population carry it. Type AB people are also prime candidates to donate both plasma and platelets, as the donation of both can be performed simultaneously.

The average donation time takes about one hour and 15 minutes. Plasma is used in the treatment of burn victims, cancer patients, trauma patients and more. At the time of the donation, a Red Cross collections specialist determines which hospitals receive the blood based on a hospital's individual needs at the time.

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