FAQ about Donating Plasma Back

Who is eligible to donate plasma?

To donate plasma, you must be a healthy individual, 18 to 65 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and pass all other required donor eligibility criteria. Following a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water before donating is also recommended.

Is it safe to donate plasma?

Donating plasma is a very safe procedure with minimal or no side effects.  On your initial visit, and annually, you will receive a physical exam and your medical history will be recorded.  These steps help ensure donating is safe for you and protect the recipient of the therapies made from your plasma.

On subsequent visits, a staff member will check your vital signs and ask some questions about your health since your last donation.  In addition, your hematocrit (the percentage of blood volume occupied by red blood cells) and plasma protein levels will be measured.

The tubing and all other collection supplies that come in contact with your blood are discarded and replaced with new, sterile materials each time a donation procedure is performed.

Our professional medical staff is dedicated to making your visit comfortable and rewarding. You can spend the donation time relaxing, listening to music, watching a movie, or catching up on your favorite magazine or book.

How often can I donate plasma?

The body replaces the plasma removed during the donation process quickly; therefore, healthy individuals can donate as often as twice in a seven-day period, with at least 48 hours between donations.

How long does it take to donate?

On your first visit, the whole process, including a physical exam and the plasma donation, usually takes about two hours. On subsequent visits, you can anticipate spending approximately an hour and a half in the center.

Do you test the plasma every time?

Interstate Blood Bank performs extensive screening tests on a sample of every single unit of plasma collected within our system.  Each plasma donation is thoroughly tested for various infectious agents including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, as well as testing for liver function.

Laboratory technicians at our state-of-the-art testing facility in Memphis, TN conduct millions of tests each year.

How is my plasma used?

The plasma that is collected at your Interstate center is manufactured into a wide variety of life-saving products that benefit thousands of people everyday.  Plasma is used in the treatment of serious disorders such as hemophilia and immune system deficiencies, and to make products used to help treat and prevent diseases like tetanus, rabies, measles, rubella and hepatitis B.

For example, those who suffer from certain forms of hemophilia lack the natural clotting factors that help stop bleeding after sustaining acute or other injuries. Plasma-based products are used to treat people with this disorder so that they may lead normal, active lives.

In addition, hospitals and emergency rooms all over the world use plasma-derived albumin in the treatment of traumatic injuries such as shock and severe burns.

It is important to remember that plasma is not a substance that can be produced in a laboratory or some other artificial environment.  It can only be obtained from healthy adults.  When you donate plasma, you are helping to save lives.