What is the difference between a plasma donation and a blood donation?
You may have asked yourself what exactly the difference between donating blood and donating plasma is. You can learn more about it here.
The biggest difference: the procedure for donating plasma
When people talk about donating blood, in most cases it is a matter of donating whole blood. In this case, the blood is collected in its entirety and without any separation procedure. In contrast, during plasma donation, as the name suggests, only the liquid part of the blood is donated. This is done in a specific separation process called plasmapheresis. In this process the blood plasma is collected and the remaining components of the blood flow back into the body. Therefore, plasma donation is less stressful for the donor’s organism than whole blood donation.
The gentler procedure is also the reason for one of the biggest differences: plasma can be donated much more often than blood. Depending on body weight, between 650 and 850 milliliters are taken from the donor. A plasma donor can donate a total of 50 times within one year. For a whole blood donation, men may donate six times and women a maximum of four times during the same period.
A major difference is the duration of the donation. Due to the process of plasmapheresis, blood plasma donation takes a little more time. A blood donation usually takes ten to 20 minutes, whereas a plasma donation takes about 50 minutes. The donor is paid an reimbursement of 25 euros for this time.
The components of a blood donation are mostly used in hospitals for blood transfusions, whereas plasma is used to produce vital drugs. For example, for people with autoimmune diseases. But plasma is also needed after severe burns or operations. Although plasma donation and blood donation differ in many ways, they have one thing in common: they help other people and are vital. Blood donors and plasma donors both make an important contribution to the health and life support of their fellow human beings.