A Guide to Donating Plasma


Have you thought about donating plasma but don’t know much plasma donation information? Every year over 6 million Americans donate blood, and every two seconds of every day, at least one person requires blood products.

When you donate plasma, you save lives. So don’t let what you don’t know to stop you from donating.

Keep reading our guide to find out everything you need to know about donating plasma and more! 

Plasma Donation

Plasma is a blood product that makes up over half your blood. When you separate plasma from the rest of the blood, it looks like a light yellow liquid. 

Plasma delivers nutrients, proteins, and hormones to the parts of your body that need it. It also removes waste products from your body. Plasma carries water, salt, and other enzymes, so it’s critical for keeping your body healthy.

Follow any plasma donation advice you’re given and watch for side effects once you’re finished, like:

  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Bruising

Most people usually feel a little tired afterward and have no severe or lasting side effects.

Plasma Donation Requirements

When you go to donate plasma, you first have to go through a screening process. Not all people are eligible to donate plasma. 

If you’re sick with a fever, cough, taking antibiotics, or feeling unwell, then you won’t be able to donate. 

Certain medical conditions like hepatitis, HIV, cancer, and more will disqualify you from donating plasma. The American Red Cross has a complete list of conditions you can check out. 

Low iron or low hemoglobin can often prevent you from donating, depending on your levels. Blood thinners, recent blood transfusions, and travel to certain areas can also make you ineligible.

If you’re pregnant, you will be advised not to donate as pregnancy puts extra stress on the body as it is. And donating plasma while you’re pregnant can be not only stressful but also dangerous.

It’s best to wait at least six months after delivery to allow your body time to recover from the stress of childbirth.

If you’re breastfeeding, you’re usually safe to donate plasma; however, there are reasons why can’t you donate plasma while breastfeeding. For example, if you don’t produce enough milk, you shouldn’t donate, as less plasma reduces your milk production even more.

If you’re breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to do some extra preparation before you donate, like:

  • Drink a lot of water at least 48 hours beforehand to keep hydrated
  • Eat a good, healthy meal before you donate
  • Eat foods rich in iron
  • Avoid smoking before you donate
  • Get enough sleep

Is Plasma Donation Safe?

Plasma donation is safe and easy. Medical professionals are there at all times to make sure you’re feeling well enough to complete the process.

Plasma donations should always with sterilized equipment at qualified facilities. If you don’t see this at the facility you choose, it’s best to walk the other way.

Donating Plasma

Now you know all about donating plasma, you can go to your appointment with the facts you need!

Donating plasma saves lives and can also save the life of someone you love.

If you enjoyed this guide, check out our blog to learn more fun facts!