What Is Plasma Transfusion?

Blood plasma transfusion is a technique that has become very popular in recent years. Plasma is one of the parts of blood. Specifically, it is the clear, slightly yellowish liquid that does not contain blood cells.

Plasma is almost 55% of the total volume of our blood. The other part is made up of cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. In this liquid there are many proteins, such as albumin, which perform very important functions for our body.

Although many people are unaware of it, plasma transfusion can treat many pathologies, such as bleeding or burns. In this article we want to explain what this procedure consists of and why it is so important to participate in donations.

What is blood plasma?

What is blood plasma?

As we have already mentioned, plasma is the liquid part of the blood . In it are suspended the blood cells, that is, the red blood cells, the white blood cells and the platelets. When the two parts are separated, the plasma looks like a transparent liquid.

Plasma is almost 90% made up of water. However, the rest of its composition is a mixture of proteins and mineral salts that are essential for the body to function properly.

First of all, it contains the immunoglobulins. They are an element of the immune system that allows us to defend ourselves against infections. In addition, in it we find albumin. It is a molecule that is responsible for transporting certain substances to the tissues.

Similarly, it is important to note that coagulation factors are found in plasma. These factors are what allow the formation of a clot to start when there is a hemorrhage in some part of the body.

How is a plasma transfusion performed?

Plasma transfusion is actually a simple procedure. First of all, there needs to be a donor. It must be an altruistic and selfless act. What is done is to extract blood from the donor, in a process that lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.

After the blood is drawn, the blood cells are separated from the plasma. The liquid is preserved and stored. When it comes to a plasma-only donation, it is called plasmapheresis.

The latter differs from donating blood in that the extracted cells are reintroduced and only the plasma is retained. In addition, the recovery is shorter and a donation can be made every fortnight.

It is important to note that to perform a plasma transfusion the donor and the recipient must have the same blood group. This is because in plasma we also find proteins that can cause a rejection reaction.

What is it for?

Blood plasma

Plasma transfusion is used as a treatment in many situations. For example, when someone has suffered burns or a serious accident, plasma transfusion helps to regain the lost blood volume.

In addition, as clotting factors are found in this fluid, this technique makes it possible to stop bleeding more quickly. It is especially useful in those people who suffer from diseases such as hemophilia, caused by the lack of any of these factors.

It is also used in liver transplants. However, techniques have been developed in which, instead of introducing all the plasma, only the molecules that are needed are used. They are called blood products.

For example, in the case we have mentioned of hemophilia, the clotting factor that that person needs can already be transfused . Although plasma transfusion is a safe technique, it has more drawbacks than if it is performed only with blood products.

What we must remember is that plasma transfusion is a simple technique that can save the lives of many people. Therefore, it is important that we are all aware that by making a simple donation we are helping other people.

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