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How often can I donate blood plasma?


Recently, in donation centers, a procedure such as plasma donation has become increasingly popular. This is due to the fact that the body tolerates the procedure easier than after donating whole blood, and the donor needs much less time to recover: plasma is allowed to be donated once a month, while whole blood - once every two months.

Features of the procedure

Blood consists of plasma, through which red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are dispersed. Plasma is a substance that is ninety percent water, the rest is proteins, fats, enzymes, pigments, carbohydrates and other substances necessary for the normal functioning of the body. If earlier only whole blood was taken, then recently its components can also be donated: plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets.

This is due to the fact that the recipient does not always need all the elements of the blood. For example, platelets are poured into recipients who have critically low numbers due to severe bleeding. White blood cells are needed for serious infectious complications. Plasma is injected into people who have suffered greatly from burns and injuries. It is also used for the manufacture of medicines.

With the help of taking the blood components, doctors can get more of the material they need than with the donation of whole blood, which after the procedure needs to be divided to separate the necessary elements (this procedure differs from taking whole blood in a beneficial way). For example, donating whole blood involves the withdrawal of only 450 ml of the substance, while plasma can be taken 600 ml.

Doctors usually try to take the material from one donor to the maximum. This is because recipients usually need more blood than can be taken from a single donor. The more donors will be involved in blood transfusion to one patient, the higher the risk of complications.

The procedure for taking blood components is different and more complicated: to donate whole blood, a person will need five to ten minutes, plasma - about forty. Plasma is given in two ways: manual and automatic. In the manual method, they take the right amount of whole blood, drive it through a special apparatus and when the plasma is separated, the remaining substance is injected back into the vein of the donor. With the automatic method, this procedure occurs continuously.

Contraindications for the procedure

Although donor centers lack blood, not everyone can become a donor in Russia. This can only be done by a Russian citizen or a person who has legally lived in the country for more than a year. A donor can be a person over 18, but under 60, whose weight exceeds 50 kg. In order not to harm the health of the recipient and the donor, there are many contraindications for donating blood. However, some warnings have time limits, some are lifelong.

A donor cannot be a person who has the following diseases:

  • HIV, AIDS, syphilis or suspected presence
  • hepatitis, regardless of the form and time of the disease,
  • alcoholism, drug addiction,
  • psychical deviations,
  • a high degree of myopia (more than six diopters),
  • high or low blood pressure.

Also, do not donate blood to people with promiscuous sexual relationships, homosexuals, as they are at risk and may be carriers of dangerous infections. They will not be allowed to become a donor to a patient with diabetes, since there is a risk of causing serious harm to his health.

The list of time limits includes people who have their teeth removed (up to two weeks before the procedure), have recently been ill or have been vaccinated (within a month), and also if the person took the medicine for two weeks before giving the plasma. During the year, you can not donate plasma after applying a tattoo or piercing.

If we talk about how much time a pregnant woman and a nursing mother can not pass plasma, then this period is one year after the last feeding of the baby. Also, you can not donate blood during menstruation and five days after the end of the discharge. The doctor at the center of donation will tell about other restrictions.

What is allowed to do before and after the procedure

A few days before the procedure, you must donate blood for analysis, which will determine the presence of dangerous infections in the body. If a virus is detected in the sample, the plasma taken from the donor will not be used. Also, the analysis will determine the blood group, Rhesus, the amount of hemoglobin (if it turns out to be low, plasma will not be taken).

When a person comes to donate plasma, the doctor will have to fill out a questionnaire, for which he will ask some questions, measure the pressure. If, according to the results of the examination, the doctor comes to the conclusion that a person can become a donor, you can begin preparations for the procedure.

You need to properly prepare for the donation of plasma, for which it is better to use the special reminder of the doctor, and adhere to a diet: three days before the donation of blood, eliminate fried, spicy, smoked, fatty foods, as well as alcohol (including beer), which is not only harmful, but also changes the composition of the blood. It is advisable to use as much fluid as possible, preferably water.

To properly prepare, before the procedure, it is necessary to exclude the use of any medications: they greatly change the composition of the blood and make the plasma unusable. In the morning, before the procedure, you must have breakfast, drink sweet tea, eat a sandwich with low-fat cheese, and chocolate. Otherwise, during the procedure, you may lose consciousness. You must not smoke for three hours before the procedure, as this can adversely affect the plasma.

When a person passes the plasma, it will be preserved and sent for storage for six months. After the expiration of the period, a person will have to come again and take tests. This must be done to ensure that there are no infections that were not detected at the time of blood donation. If a person does not come, the plasma is considered unsuitable, and is destroyed.

At the end of the procedure, the donor must rest for at least two hours. About a day after blood donation, physical activity, training, weight lifting are contraindicated. Over the next two days, attention should be paid to a diet in which protein should prevail, on which the amount of hemoglobin in the blood depends (for more information on the diet, see the donor's memo).

After the procedure, drinking about two liters of liquid, taking alcohol is harmful. Full recovery of blood occurs in a week. Repeated delivery of the material is allowed after a month: if you do this more often, you can be harmful to your health. Therefore, if we talk about how many times donors can donate plasma, then you can go to the procedure from 6 to 12 times a year, while the donor can collect no more than 12 liters of plasma per year.

The benefits and harms of the procedure

Since donor centers care about safety for both the donor and the recipient, the risk of infection is minimal, therefore donating blood is not harmful to health, but it is considered useful. How painful the procedure is, there are different opinions, but most agree that the pain is more psychological in nature, and there is no harm from the procedure. During the procedure, your head may feel a little dizzy, the injection site may hurt for some time.

However, many donors believe that donating blood is good for the body. This is caused by the fact that the body has a unique recovery mechanism after blood loss, which is improved with regular bloodletting. Therefore, human immunity is significantly strengthened, which is clearly beneficial, and not harmful.

Saying that the procedure is useful, many mention the increase in working capacity, the appearance of vigor. In addition, many mention that blood donation is good for the skin, acne, various inflammations disappear. Therefore, given the benefits of the procedure, many donate blood for years.

Payment and benefits

Those wishing to know how much they pay for the delivery of blood components should ask about this at the donation center at the place of registration. Every year the price changes, and recently the authorities recommend lowering the price, replacing them with benefits that a person can get if he becomes an honorary donor.

To become an honorary donor, plasma must be donated at least 60 times free of charge (in this case they give home rations or pay a small amount so that a person can buy the foods provided for by the diet). Data on blood donation is entered in a special card, on the basis of which subsequently make statements about the number of procedures for the social service. If we talk about how much time it takes the social service to consider the application, then this period is 90 days.

An honorary donor has the right to rely on the priority of receiving free trips to the sanatorium, to choose a vacation time at any time convenient for himself. Also, once a year, the donor is paid a monetary reward, the amount of which is reviewed annually.

Features of plasmapheresis

Recently, doctors are increasingly taking from the donors not whole blood, but its cells (platelets, red blood cells, white blood cells) and plasma. This is explained by the fact that the donor’s body is easier to recover after donating one of the parts of the blood, and the material taken is safer for the recipient. In addition, the patient is far from in all cases experiencing the need for all elements of the blood.

Plasma is the liquid part of the blood, rich in proteins, enzymes and other substances necessary for the body. Blood plasma obtained from donors is used for a wide variety of cases. Among them - burns, lack of blood coagulability, diseases of immune deficiency.

For a donor, plasmapheresis (which is exactly what the procedure is called when plasma is donated) is not dangerous if you donate the material no more often than recommended by your doctor. During this time, blood is updated. The body recovers on its own and, according to many, a person feels better. However, there are requirements for the donor. A person who wants to donate plasma must be healthy (a blood test confirms this), psychologically stable, and the doctor will have to tell the rest of the requirements before the procedure.

Side effects

When plasma is taken, the procedure is somewhat different from whole blood transfusion. After the blood received from the donor passes through the apparatus, the device separates and takes plasma from it, returning the remainder to the donor. How much plasma is taken depends on many factors, and primarily on the weight of the donor.

You need to understand that taking plasma is a safe procedure for healthy adults who best meet the requirements for donors. Despite this, sometimes side effects may occur when donating blood to plasma. In most cases, this is not dangerous, and serious consequences are rare, although possible.

Doctors do not recommend donating plasma more than once a month, because the donor may have side effects. It could be:

  • Dehydration.
  • Fatigue.
  • Chest pain.
  • Weakening or strengthening of the rhythm of heartbeats.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pain in the hand.

Short-term effects are not as dangerous to the health of the donor as long-term ones. Donors who donate plasma more often than the prescribed period may experience serious disorders. For example, constant plasma donation lowers the level of immunoglobulins. This can seriously damage the immune system, which a blood test can show. This substitutes the donor’s health for serious complications, and the person feels overwhelmed and sick.

With plasmophoresis, bruising or discomfort at the needle insertion site is most often encountered. This happens in less than 2% of cases. Bruising is usually small and does not pose a threat to health, except for a slight inconvenience and possible swelling of the tissues. Recommendations in this case is to apply a cold compress on the first day after delivery of the plasma, after which it will be necessary to apply a warm compress. After this, the bruising goes away, as does the feeling of discomfort.

Sometimes, when a needle is inserted, a donor gets nerve irritation. If this happens, the donor feels instant severe pain at the needle insertion site. This pain can be given to the hand, wrist and palm. If this happens, the needle should be removed immediately, and the blood donation transferred to another day. When the needle is removed, the pain usually goes away immediately, but slight temporary discomfort may be present.

Dizziness and fainting

Plasma donation and other types of transfusion can sometimes cause an involuntary reaction called vasagovagal, which can provoke a kind of blood or needle, pain from the introduction of a needle, and anxiety about the transfusion process itself.

Early symptoms of this reaction include low blood pressure, sweating, fever, weakness, blanching, nausea and vomiting, blurry and tunnel vision, and dizziness. If these symptoms are ignored, they can progress to fainting and fainting. In some cases, these symptoms can be prevented if the donor’s body is positioned so that the legs are elevated above the head and a cold compress is placed on the head.

If fainting and vomiting occurs, blood donation should be stopped immediately. According to statistics, a vasovagal reaction occurs less than 1% of donors. Usually it occurs during the collection of plasma, but can occur if the donor rises sharply after the procedure. In this situation, dizziness is dangerous because a person may fall and get injured. Occasionally, people who pass out due to transfusion require intravenous fluids in order to raise blood pressure.

Citrate response

When the plasma surrenders, a chemical called citrate is added to the blood flowing into the separator. Basically, this substance remains in the donated material, but a certain amount seeps into the circulatory system of the donor when blood without plasma returns to its body. In this case, a chemical reaction occurs. Citrate temporarily binds charged calcium molecules (ions) in the body of the donor. Since the amount of calcium bound by citrate is small, and the exchange of citrate occurs very quickly, a small penetration of this substance into the blood of the donor does not cause side effects.

Despite this, a citrate reaction still occurs in 1% of donors. Mild symptoms include:

  • Tickling or vibrating sensations in the mouth, face, hands and feet,
  • weakness,
  • lack of energy.

In a worse situation, muscle cramps, tremors, nausea, vomiting, numbness in the mouth and confusion may appear. When a citrate reaction of any form occurs, the blood donation process stops. To reduce unwanted symptoms, the donor takes calcium tablets. Together with a decrease in the level of citrate entering the bloodstream, this is usually enough to stop the mild reaction. In case of severe symptoms, blood donation is completely stopped.

Other possible effects of plasma donation

Other possible but rare complications that can occur during plasma donation are:

  • Infection at the needle insertion site.
  • The formation of a blood clot in a vein used to donate blood.
  • Itching, scabies, rash, urticaria at the needle insertion site.
  • Blood loss if the procedure is stopped before blood without plasma returns to the donor.

Each plasma donor may notice that during each donation he feels a strong thirst. There is a risk of dehydration.The same sensation arises with the usual donation of blood or its cells. But in the dehydration of the body, donors also have a hidden danger. The fact is that if dehydration is repeated often, veins begin to collapse over time due to the formation of scar tissue in their walls. When dehydrated, these scars harden.

To prevent scarring of the veins, the donor should drink as much water, milk and juice as possible daily, as well as before donating blood.

This must be done even if there is no thirst. Scarring increases if the donor does not eat well enough. Dehydration can also lead to dizziness and weakness. However, if certain rules are followed, the risk associated with the delivery of plasma can be avoided.

Over time, plasma donors may experience complications such as decreased levels of serotonin and endorphins in the blood. From this there is depression, thinking disorders, anxiety and anxiety increase, panic attacks occur. First of all, there are donors at risk who, prior to delivery, have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorders by doctors. Therefore, they don’t take blood from people with nervous diseases, and to confirm their absence it is necessary to present a special certificate at the blood donation point.

To donate blood did not weaken the immune system, you should know that this will not happen if the donor ate well before the procedure: good nutrition is very useful for replenishing blood. Therefore, when thinking about how to donate blood, the donor should think about how to ensure that he does not harm his body and strictly adhere to the doctor’s instructions.

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