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How do you administer fresh frozen plasma?

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Quick Answer

Fresh frozen plasma is administered as an intravenous infusion at a maximum rate of 1 milliliter per kilogram per minute. The volume of each unit of fresh frozen plasma is between 200 and 250 milliliters, notes Medscape.

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Fresh frozen plasma is prepared by taking blood from a donor, separating its layers with apheresis, removing the plasma component and immediately freezing it to preserve its vital components. It also undergoes a number of processes that remove potential pathogens such as viruses and bacteria; units with hepatitis A virus and parvovirus B19 are usually discarded. The most important components in fresh frozen plasma include clotting factors, albumin and immunoglobulin, explains Liumbruno et al. in a 2009 article in Blood Transfusion.

Indications for the transfusion of fresh frozen plasma include the correction of bleeding in patients with liver disease, correction of bleeding in patients taking vitamin K antagonists and in patients actively bleeding with disseminated intravascular coagulation. Other indications also include the correction of clotting factor deficiencies, treatment of microangiopathic disease and the replacement of plasma components in patients with hereditary deficiencies, according to Liumbruno et al. Before use, fresh frozen plasma is thawed in water to a temperature between 30 and 37 degrees Celsius, while being agitated at the same time. It has to be transfused within 24 hours to maintain all of its useful components.

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