Donating plasma is a safe and effective way to help save lives. It’s a process that takes about an hour, and it can be done up to twice a week. You might wonder if donating plasma burns a lot of calories or if you should alter your diet before or after the donation.
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to cells. It also contains antibodies that protect against infections. When someone needs plasma transfusion, they may receive it from another person who has donated whole blood, or they may need to receive double red cell blood products (packed red blood cells). In order for your blood to be used for transfusion purposes, it must first be separated into three components: platelets, plasma and red blood cells (RBCs). Only plasma can be used for transfusion because it contains no RBCs or platelets; these two components are returned to you through the same process as your donation.
In order for your body to replace what was lost during donation, it needs extra calories and nutrients — about 500 extra calories per pint of blood donated (about one pint equals 16 fluid ounces). This means if you’re planning on donating.
Last modified: September 12, 2022