What you must know to donate plasma

Making donation safe for you - and those you help with your donation

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Public 1000107957 (2022-09-09)

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Before you donate

  • Have something to eat in the hours before you donate. Avoid fatty foods such as bacon or fried food.
  • Drink at least 500 ml of water or juice just before your donation.
  • You will complete a questionnaire.
  • We will confirm your identity.
  • We may check your: 
    • Temperature
    • Blood pressure
    • Height and weight
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While you donate

  • The needle used during your donation is sterile, used only once and then discarded.
  • During the collection procedure, anticoagulant is added to your donation to prevent clotting.

Red blood cells, along with some anticoagulant are returned to you while the plasma and/or platelets are being collected. Although very rare, the following can occur when your red blood cells are returned:

  • The rupture of some red blood cells (hemolysis).
  • An allergic reaction (itching).
  • An air bubble that blocks flow in a blood vessel (the tubing is continuously monitored for air bubbles).

Please alert a team member if you experience unusual symptoms such as tingling around the mouth, chills, heaviness in the chest, difficulty breathing, chest pain, back pain or general discomfort. Some of these symptoms can be alleviated by slowing down the procedure.

Occasionally, the red blood cells cannot be returned to a donor. If so, a temporary deferral from donating may be required for your safety, depending on the volume of red blood cell loss.

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After you donate

  • We will place a bandage on your arm
  • You may be asked to put pressure on the needle site.
  • Rest for a few minutes before getting up.
  • You are encouraged to stay in the refreshment area to re-hydrate and have a snack.
  • If you feel faint sit down and rest for a few minutes with your head between your knees or lie down.