Plasma donations are down in recent months. Fewer donations now means a possible shortage of plasma products, such as IVIG, within the coming year. Becoming a plasma donor is one way those of us who are not on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 can bring some good into the world.
But there are significant differences between donating plasma and donating blood. Most significantly, plasma donated at a blood bank or Red Cross facility will not be used to create immune globulin.
Here is an outline of other differences:
What’s the difference between donating blood vs. plasma?
|Allowable frequency||Twice a week with two days in between||Once every 56 days|
|Donations needed to qualify||At least two within a six-month period; prefer regular, ongoing donations||One donation qualifies|
|Time it takes to donate||1 to 2 hours first donation; less than 1 hour for subsequent||Less than 1 hour|
|Uses||To produce life-saving therapies such as immune globulins, clotting factors, and albumin||Primarily for transfusions in local hospitals|
|Donations needed to produce IVIG||250 to treat one autoimmune patient for one year||NA – Blood and plasma donations at blood banks and hospitals are not used to make IVIG|
|Where can you donate?||IPPQ-Certified plasma donation center specific to your location https://www.donatingplasma.org/donation/find-a-donor-center||Any AABB-accredited blood donation site http://www.aabb.org/tm/donation/Pages/Blood-Bank-Locator.aspx|