When donating plasma, the liquid component of the blood is donated. The biggest difference to (full) blood donation is that plasma can be donated much more often than blood. For donors, plasma donation is more gentle because the body has replaced the protein loss after only a few days. Therefore, plasma donation is possible up to 3 times in two weeks and up to 50 times a year. The donation process in which the plasma is extracted is called plasmapheresis.
Plasma donation can only be carried out in stationary donation facilities with special collection equipment. It takes about 45 to 60 minutes, plus travel to and from the donation centre.
A (full) blood donation, on the other hand, takes only about 10 minutes and is possible every 8 weeks, with an upper limit of 4 times a year for women and up to 6 times a year for men. The proportion of red blood cells in the whole blood is about 44% and the body needs several weeks for their regeneration. In a (whole) blood donation, the blood is separated into its individual components only after the donation. This separation enables targeted transfusions of those components that the patient/recipient actually needs.
In Austria, blood can also be donated in mobile donation facilities such as buses or in companies.
Plasma is primarily required for the production of life-saving drugs. The demand for plasma cannot be covered by (full) blood donation alone.
Your requirements for donating plasma:
Your suitability as a donor is confirmed by means of an anamnesis sheet, a medical examination and extensive laboratory diagnoses directly at the donation centre.
A healthy person can donate the maximum amount of 700 ml plasma:
If you have any doubts about the use of your plasma, you can always object to the use of your donated plasma. This is possible with the confidential donor self-exclusion.