FAQs on Plasma Donation

Q1. What is a plasma bank?

Ans. A plasma bank functions like a blood bank, and has been created specifically for those who are suffering from Covid-19, and have been advised the therapy by doctors.

Q2. Who can donate plasma?

Ans. Those who had the disease, but have recovered at least 14 days before the donation can be considered — although doctors prefer a time of three weeks between recovery and donation. People between the ages of 18 and 60, and weighing not less than 50 kg are eligible. Women who have given birth are not eligible, as the antibodies they produce during pregnancy (after being exposed to the blood of the foetus) can interfere with lung function. People with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer are also excluded. Once you reach the centre, a doctor will take a detailed medical history and conduct a physical examination (Height, Weight, Blood Pressure, Temperature, adequate veins for phlebotomy).

Q3. What test are carried out before donating plasma?

Ans. Laboratory tests are carried out to assess various conditions — serum protein and CBC, TTI testing for hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, HIV, malaria, and syphilis — and for blood grouping and antibody screening. Serum Covid-19 specific IgG antibody concentration higher than 80 is preferred.

Q4. How can a donor contact the bank?

Ans. A patient who is eligible and willing to donate plasma has to fill the registration form as shown in the screenshot.

Q5. Can a patient’s family directly contact the donor?

Ans. Yes

Q6. How many people would be benefitted by one person’s donation?

Ans. Each plasma donation would be used to treat 2 patients. The bank collects 500 ml of plasma, depending on weight.

Q7. How does plasma donation differ from blood donation?

Ans. In plasma donation, as opposed to blood donation, only plasma is extracted and the other components of blood are returned to the body. Blood contains several components, including red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells, and plasma. During a whole blood donation, donors typically donate a pint (about a half litre) of blood. During automated donation (apheresis), you will be connected to the apheresis machine using a fully disposable one-time use apheresis kit. The process uses a single needle. The machine will selectively retain the plasma and return all red blood cells and other components of blood. All plasma proteins lost by you due to donation will be formed again in 24-72 hours.

Q8. How often can a recovered patient donate plasma?

Ans. 500 ml of plasma can be donated every two weeks, while blood can be donated once in three months. .This is safer with very little stress on the body. Plasma can be stored for a year, as frozen plasma will still have antibodies. The antibody level doesn’t decrease in a person’s body.