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What is plasma?

Plasma is the largest single component of blood, and makes up about 55% of total blood volume. It is a clear, straw-coloured liquid, which carries platelets, red and white blood cells.

It contains over 700 proteins and other substances, which can be extracted and which are key ingredients in medical products.

Once separated from blood cells, plasma can be used in blood transfusions. 

What happens to your plasma

Although much of the plasma from donors is transfused, plasma from female donors is not used.

This is because certain antibodies that are more commonly found in women may cause a life-threatening condition in the person who receives the plasma. This means that we only produce plasma components using donations from male donors.

Donated plasma is frozen to preserve its quality and function. This component is known as fresh frozen plasma, or FFP.

FFP can be issued to hospitals or further processed into a more concentrated component that is rich in certain clotting factors called cryoprecipitate.

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