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What is plasma?

Blood is made up of three main components:

  1. Red blood cells
  2. White blood cells
  3. Plasma

Plasma is the liquid that carries the red and white blood cells. It is made mostly of water and dissolved proteins, including antibodies and blood clotting factors.

How do I donate plasma?

Visit your nearest Octapharma Plasma Donation Centre to see if you qualify as a plasma donor. A quick and simple blood test together with a physical exam will indicate whether and how your plasma can be used.

What are the requirements to be a donor?

To be a donor you must: 

  • Be in good health, have suitable veins and  be between the ages of 18 and 65.
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs (50kg).
  • Have not had ear piercing, body piercing, tattoos or permanent make-up in the last 12 months.
  • Have two pieces of identification: (1) photo I.D. (such as a driver's license), (2) proof of a Social Security number or equivalent.
  • Have proof of your current address dated within the last 30 days.

What is the donation process?

1.         Medical history and screening

We will check your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and weight and make sure your blood test results are within acceptable limits. You will also be asked questions regarding your medical history.

2.         Physical exam

You will receive a physical examination. We will review the confidential informed consent procedure, explain the plasmapheresis process, and address any questions you may have.

3.         Donation of plasma

Your safety is paramount, and all procedures are performed aseptically. You will be sat down during the procedure. A nurse or phlebotomist (blood specialist) will begin withdrawing blood in a process called plasmapheresis. You will be monitored throughout the duration of this process. You will then be compensated for your time. The first donation will take longer than normal because of the required medical screening. 

What is plasmapherisis?

Plasmapheresis is the method by which a machine collects your plasma. Your blood is taken and separated in a sterile system into plasma and blood cells. The plasma is collected while the blood cells are returned to your body.


Around 650ml of pure plasma is taken per donation. After medical and legal defaults, the frequency of the plasma donation is specified individually for each donor. A donor can generally donate multiple times per year, and the donation takes an average of 45 minutes.



For more questions, please contact us.