Changing to plasma donation

If you already donate blood, you could help us in a different way and try plasma donation.

Plasma can be made into medicine which saves and improves the lives of over 17,000 people in England each year.

By giving plasma you could help build a person's antibodies, help to heal burns, protect pregnancies, and help babies' hearts to continue to beat.

You can also donate plasma more often than blood. If you wish to donate more often, you can donate up to every 2 weeks.

Can I change to plasma donation?

Donor having a drink after donation

You may be able to change to plasma donation if you:

  • are able to travel to a donor centre in Birmingham, Reading or Twickenham
  • Have enough blood to donate safely. Check how much blood you have
  • have suitable veins and a normal pulse (we will check these before you donate)

Check how much blood you have

We need to know your height and weight before you donate plasma. This is so the machine we use to collect plasma can calculate how much blood you have and work out how much plasma you can safely donate.

Use this tool to check if you have enough blood to donate.

The calculation uses your gender and height to tell you the minimum weight you need to be to donate.


How does plasma donation work?

Donor waiting to donate

Giving plasma is simple and takes around an hour, with the donation itself only taking around 35 minutes.

During the donation:

  • your blood is taken from a vein in your arm
  • a machine separates your plasma from your blood cells and collects it in a donation bag
  • your red cells are returned to your arm using the same needle

How do I change to plasma donation?

Donor talking to a member of staff

It's easy to change to plasma donation in your online account.

You just need to:

If you are an O negative or Ro donor and are interested in changing to plasma, give us a call and we can discuss it with you. Call the donor helpline on 0300 123 23 23.