All types can save lives
Many people don’t realise that they can donate plasma, but all types can save lives. How much do you know about plasma donation? Check out our Q&A.
All types can save lives
We’re appealing for new donors at Birmingham, Twickenham, and Reading. The NHS needs more donors to help the 17,000 people who rely on medicines made from plasma.
Many people don’t realise that they can donate plasma, but all types can save lives.
How much do you know about plasma donation? Check out our Q&A.
Can UK donors give plasma?
UK donors have been able to give plasma since 2021, when the Government lifted the ban on using plasma for fractionation. Fractionation is the process that separates plasma into different components which can then be used to produce medicines.
Where can I donate plasma?
Currently, there are three locations where you can donate plasma: Birmingham, Reading and Twickenham. Most donor centres have day, evening and weekend appointments, discounted or free parking nearby, free wi-fi, and good access to public transport links.
Can women donate plasma?
Yes, women can donate plasma. In 2022, we introduced new machines at plasma donor centres that can take donations from people with a wider range of heights and weights, meaning more people can now donate plasma.
Which blood type do I have to be to donate plasma?
People from all blood groups can donate plasma.
How much of your blood is plasma?
Plasma makes up approximately 55% of your blood. It is a yellowish liquid that carries platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells around the body.
Plasma contains antibodies, known as immunoglobulins, which fight infection. These antibodies are made into medicines to help people with rare diseases, immune disorders and genetic conditions.
How long does plasma donation last?
Plasma donation takes around 35 minutes, with the appointment lasting just over an hour. There aren’t many ways to save lives so quickly, so easily!
Are my veins suitable for plasma donation?
We will run a visual check on your veins and measure your pulse before you donate plasma. It’s nothing scary and only takes a few minutes.
How long does it take to recover from a plasma donation?
It doesn’t take long to recover from a plasma donation at all. You can resume your normal daily activities afterwards but be sure to avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting with the arm you donated with.
Your body recovers very quickly (helped by post-donation drinks and snacks) and you’re able to donate plasma as often as every two weeks.
How long after getting a COVID-19 vaccination should I wait before donating plasma?
You must wait until it is at least 48 hours after receiving a vaccination for COVID-19 before donating plasma. We advise booking to attend on the 3rd day from the date of your vaccine.
If you have side effects from the vaccine, such as headache, temperature, aches, and chills, please wait until they have passed before donating. For all other types of vaccination, please refer to the donor knowledge base.
How long after getting a tattoo, piercing or acupuncture do you have to wait before donating plasma?
Wait 4 months after getting a tattoo, piercing or acupuncture before donating plasma.
Appointments are available months in advance, so when you open your calendar to book in your tattoo, why not book a plasma appointment at the same time?