why do you need plasma in your blood

What Is Plasma? Plasma is the often forgotten component of blood. White blood cells, red blood cells,
and platelets are essential to body function, but plasma also plays a crucial, and
mostly unrecognized, job. It carries these blood components throughout the body as
the fluid in which they travel. Plasma is the largest component of your blood, making up about 55% of its overall
content. When isolated on its own, blood plasma is a light yellow liquid, similar
to the color of straw. Along with water, plasma carries salts and enzymes. The primary purpose of plasma is to transport nutrients, hormones, and proteins to
the parts of the body that need it. Cells also deposit their waste products into the
plasma. The plasma, in turn, helps remove this waste from the body. Blood plasma also
ushers the movement of all the elements of blood through the circulatory system. Plasma is a critical component in the treatment of many serious health problems. This
is why there are frequent blood drives encouraging people to donate blood plasma. Along with water, salt, and enzymes, human plasma also contains important components. These include immunoglobulins (antibodies), clotting factors, and the proteins albumin
and fibrinogen. When you donate blood, health professionals can isolate these vital
ingredients from your plasma and concentrate them into various products.


These products
are then used as treatments that can potentially help save the lives of people suffering
from burns, shock, trauma, and other medical emergencies. The proteins and antibodies in plasma are also used to create therapies for rare chronic
conditions, such as autoimmune disorders and hemophilia. People with these conditions
can live long and productive lives because of these treatments. In fact, some health
organizations call plasma "the gift of life. "
If you want to donate plasma to help others in need, you will go through a screening process beforehand to make sure your blood is healthy and safe. If you qualify as a plasma donor, you'll spend about an hour and a half at a clinic on every follow-up visit. During the actual blood donation process, your blood is drawn through a needle placed in a vein in one arm. Then a special machine separates the plasma (and often the platelets) from your blood sample. This process is called plasmapheresis. The remaining red blood cells and other blood components are then returned to your body, along with a little saline (salt) solution.


People with the blood type AB are in the greatest demand for plasma donation. Though they make up just 4% of the population, their plasma is universal. This means it can be used by anyone. At noncommercial donation sites, people can donate plasma every 28 days, up to 13 times a year. To learn more about donating blood, visit the American Red Cross. The use of blood plasma as a substitute for whole blood and for transfusion purposes was proposed in March 1918, in the correspondence columns of the British Medical Journal, by Gordon R. Ward. "Dried plasmas" in powder or strips of material format were developed and first used in. Prior to the United States' involvement in the war, liquid plasma and were used. The "Blood for Britain" program during the early 1940s was quite successful (and popular in the United States) based on 's contribution. A large project began in August 1940 to collect blood in New York City hospitals for the export of plasma to Britain. Drew was appointed medical supervisor of the " " project. His notable contribution at this time was to transform the methods of many blood researchers into the first successful mass production techniques. Nevertheless, the decision was made to develop a dried plasma package for the armed forces as it would reduce breakage and make the transportation, packaging, and storage much simpler.


The resulting dried plasma package came in two tin cans containing 400 cc bottles. One bottle contained enough to reconstitute the dried plasma contained within the other bottle. In about three minutes, the plasma would be ready to use and could stay fresh for around four hours. The Blood for Britain program operated successfully for five months, with total collections of almost 15,000 people donating blood, and with over 5,500 vials of blood plasma. Following the "Plasma for Britain" invention, Drew was named director of the and assistant director of the, in charge of blood collection for the and. Drew argued against the armed forces directive that blood/plasma was to be separated by the of the. Drew insisted that there was no racial difference in human blood and that the policy would lead to needless deaths as soldiers and sailors were required to wait for "same race" blood. By the end of the war the had provided enough blood for over six million plasma packages. Most of the surplus plasma was returned to the United States for civilian use. replaced dried plasma for combat use during the.

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