College of DuPage Nursing Student Tabassum M. Mansuri research for Healthy Lombard that red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), platelets, and plasma are the essential parts of blood. Generally, people know about RBCs, WBCs, and platelets and that blood can be donated, but they are not aware of the fact that plasma is also able to be donated. Plasma is a fluid that carries blood components, including RBCs and WBCs throughout the body, and contains crucial components for the overall health of the human body. Blood is composed of 55% plasma and 45 % blood cells (RBCs, WBCs, and platelets), while plasma consists of at least 90% water with less than 10 % dissolved substances such as protein (Banasik, 2019). When the plasma is separated from blood cells, it appears a light-yellow color. When administered to an individual, it provides them with the essential components that are within the plasma.
The Importance of Plasma
Plasma is essential for the human body. Plasma transports essential nutrients, hormones, and proteins throughout the circulatory system and removes the body’s cellular waste products. Besides RBCs, WBCs, and platelets, clotting factors are also carried in the blood, which is necessary for clotting in the event injury occurs. Plasma also helps to maintain body temperature. Plasma is an essential part of our immune systems, as it provides immunity to fight against the disease. Therefore, plasma is vital for very ill people because it helps them fight against infections.
Importance of Plasma Donation
Convalesce, or the concept of recovering from a disease applies to convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies against disease. When people get a disease, their bodies try to fight against it by making antibodies against that disease. By administering plasma, the additional antibodies in the plasma are used to treat many serious health problems such as trauma, shock, burns, and medical emergencies. Plasma protein and antibodies are also used to treat autoimmune diseases and hemophilia. Plasma donations help individuals suffering from these conditions to have a better quality of life. Since plasma is an essential component of our immune system, it is beneficial in fighting against COVID-19. The donation of convalescent plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 may help others recover from it and may save lives.
Plasma Donation Process
A one-time plasma donation can make a difference in someone’s life, but plasma donation requires passing a screening process. There are several donation centers available, such as American Red Cross in Chicago and Bio-Life Plasma Services in Lombard. The donation center provides screening, and blood tests are also performed to verify it is safe. Once an individual qualifies, they next go through the plasmapheresis process in which blood is drawn from peripheral access. The plasma is then separated from the blood, and the non-plasma blood components are returned to the body.
Plasma donation not only may save another’s life, but the donor can also earn money. Plasma donations are involved and take more time than one may realize. Components of plasma are essential to the human body as plasma helps prevent and fight against disease. Educating the public about this will hopefully encourage others to consider plasma donation. Ultimately, it may save someone’s life.
Office of the Commissioner. (2020, October 22). Donate COVID-19 Plasma. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Trevithick, S. G., Alteration in oxygen Transport, In J. L. Banasik (2019), Pathophysiology (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. (pp. 259-297).