Eligibility Requirements to Donate Plasma | Can I donate blood plasma ?

Plasma donation is one of the most important form of blood donation that can be lifesaving to so many who are in need of the drugs and therapies derived from the donated plasma. Plasma contains several vital proteins that are essential in helping with blood clot and in fighting infections. However, there are a few eligibility criteria to meet before you can actually start making that all important donation.

Criteria that should be met are weight, age and your health in general so that it’s safe for you as well as the recipient. You should also disclose your last plasma (or blood) donation, any medication you might be into, or a medical condition you may have. All these information determines your eligibility.


How much do you have to weigh to donate blood plasma

A donor should at least be 110 pounds (About 50kgs).

Collection of blood – and plasma – is regulated by the FDA. General requirements associated with plasma donation is similar to that of any other blood donation. The blood level in your body is directly dependent on your size; therefore, you must not weigh less than 110 pounds to be able to safely donate the standard quantity of plasma at the time of donation.


How old do you have to be to donate blood

You should also be 18 years and above.

As a donor, you must be of the legal age to provide your consent for the donation; and that’s normally 18 years. But there are a lot of states where you can donate plasma even at the age of 17. This; however, is possible only with the consent of the parents. There, normally, is no age ceiling for donors. Learn more about how old do you have to be to donate blood plasma.


Must pass a medical examination

A physician will examine all donors at the time of their first donation, and it will become a yearly affair after that; this is a standard procedure laid down by the FDA. You must be perfectly fit on the day of the donation without any signs of breathing difficulties, or cough, or even fever. You should have a normal pulse, blood pressure and body temperature. You are required to undergo a blood test just before the donation to ensure that you have the right amount of red blood cells and protein in your blood.

In case you are a frequent plasma donor; certain donation centers may put you up on a diet that involves an adequate amount of protein intake so that you don’t run into a shortage yourself.

Medications that prevent plasma donation

Undergo an extensive medical history screening

If you are into blood thinners or insulin, you may not be allowed to donate plasma. Apart from these two, there are no medications that will prevent you from donating. You will have to make a list of all the medicines you are currently taking; the donation center will determine your eligibility based on this information. Even something like a vaccination may render you ineligible to donate for the given period. You can; however, donate later on. Find more about medications that prevent plasma donation.


Be free from STDs

Every time you donate, your plasma will be tested to ensure that you are free from STDs such as HIV, viral hepatitis, etc. You will also have to go through a small interrogation regarding your lifestyle and travel history to find out whether or not you are at a risk of carrying infections that could pass on to others from your plasma. Your eligibility will depend on the kind of response you provide to the questions.


Also; conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma may affect your chance.Click here to learn more.


Policies you may not know

The FDA states that one can donate plasma up to two times a week; that does not mean 2 days at a stretch. The American Red Cross; however, has a different regulation. It states that one can donate plasma only once every 28 days, i.e. 13 times in a year. It is advised that you reach out to your nearest donation center and find out about their requirements and frequencies and other policies.

You can donate plasma more frequently than you can donate whole blood because the human body can regenerate plasma much faster than blood cells.


Things to keep in mind before a plasma donation

Finally, after everything’s been taken care of and you are preparing yourself for a plasma donation; drink plenty of fluids (water, juice, etc.) so that you stay fully hydrated. You should also inform the center personal if you’ve had any surgery recently; or if you’ve got a piercing or a tattoo in the last 12 months; or if you are currently under any kind of medication.

donating plasma

Plasma is in great demand so plasma collection companies are on the lookout for donors who can commit over a long period of time. In order to receive a Qualified Donor status you’ll have to pass 2 health screening and one negative test results within a six month period. Until and unless these requirements are fulfilled; your plasma won’t be utilized for manufacturing therapies. This is done to make sure that all quality and safety norms are met.

And if you meet all the criteria for a plasma donation; you will also be eligible to donate organs, platelets, bone marrow, other body tissues and double red cells.

Some other questions you may also interested in:

Can I donate plasma if I have a cold, flu or fever?

Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding?

Can you donate blood plasma if you have a tattoo?

Can I donate blood plasma with anemia?

Can you donate blood plasma if you have herpes/ hepatitis/ HPV?

Can you donate plasma if you are pregnant?

Medications that prevent plasma donation