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 helped Laraib get her life back
Laraib has myasthenia gravis, a rare condition that causes muscle weakness.
Her symptoms meant she couldn’t speak, eat or drink. She was unable to climb up a flight of stairs or walk for more than 10 minutes without being severely out of breath. Medicines made from plasma help keep her symptoms under control.
Laraib said, "I was choking and struggling to breathe. I am beyond grateful to those who have donated plasma for the medicine I received. It has given me my life back."
Donating plasma for use in medicines in the UK has started again after more than 20 years. Until recently the UK has relied solely on imports of plasma from other countries.
Thanks to plasma donors, the UK 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.
You can donate at 11 donor centres across the country, find your nearest donor centre.
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, 18, donates at the Stratford donor centre in London.