Plasma is a yellowish liquid in your blood that carries platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells around the body.
Plasma makes up approximately 55% of your blood, and contains antibodies, known as immunoglobulins, which fight infection.
These antibodies are made into medicines to help people with cancers, rare diseases, immune disorders and genetic conditions.
Over 17,000 people in England rely on plasma medicines. They have weakened immune systems, cancers and other diseases.
Over 50 different conditions can be treated with medicines made from plasma and the demand for plasma is growing every year.
These plasma medicines save and transform the lives of thousands of people every year.
Finlay and Darcie had plasma medicines as babies
Nicola Hallam’s two children, Finlay and Darcie, had two life-saving antibody medicines because the antibodies in her blood were destroying their blood.
Both the children were born with severe haemolytic disease of the newborn. The condition was caused by the antibodies in Nicola's blood passing through her placenta and destroying her children's red blood cells.
Nicola said, "I am so grateful to the people who donate. You don't realise how important plasma is until you or someone you love needs it."
Plasma medicines transformed Jodie's life
Jodie was diagnosed with an immune condition and has medicines made from plasma to improve her low immune levels.
“Before I couldn’t fight off a common cold and it would mean over a month to recover. I now have a lot more energy, and I can go about life as I have always wanted to.”
Jodie is a trained phlebotomist and now a Health Care Assistant. Her training has come in handy as after being shown how to infuse her plasma medicine, she can now infuse herself at home.
Donating plasma for use in medicines in England has started again after more than 20 years. Until recently England has relied solely on imports of plasma from other countries.
Thanks to plasma donors, England is becoming more self-sufficient at producing plasma treatments.
The community of plasma donors is growing and we’re always looking for new donors.
Donating plasma is safe and easy and is similar to donating blood. Find out what happens when you donate plasma.
There are three plasma donor centres to choose from, find your nearest donor centre.
We also collect some plasma by separating it out from blood donations.
I donate plasma because I want to give people more time with their loved ones. If I needed it in the future, I hope someone would do the same for me.
Albert Mensah donates plasma in London.