Updated at: 10-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

What if you could find out how to make plasma donations happen faster? The more you read, the more you’ll learn about the various options available to you.

Let’s start with a definition of plasma before diving into the rest of this discussion. Plasma is the fluid component of our blood, which is why it’s called plasma. It is a pale yellow color with a yellow undertone. When addressing the question of what materials it is constructed from? It is composed of 90% water and 10% proteins. Albumin and fibrinogen are the two proteins it is composed of. Additionally, it contains enzymes, salts, and antibodies that aid in the battle against infection. Did you know that, too? Plasma is in charge of maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

There are various nutrients and hormones that can be sent to your cell by this method. Bone and muscular mass development is aided by these growth hormones. Also, sodium and potassium are nutrients that assist your cells work. Plasma is a vital component of our bodies, and we can certainly claim so.

We’re going to tell you why and how plasma donation helps, and we’re going to address the question you asked, my friends. We understand that it’s difficult to find the time to read such lengthy articles in the midst of our hectic schedules. That’s why we’ve done our best to keep this post to the point and simple to follow. No need to worry, because you’ve located the perfect article for you.

Speeding Up Plasma Donation

It’s not a stretch to argue that contemporary medicine has advanced tremendously. Then there are surgeries and therapies that we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago that are now readily available to us. However, there are still many characteristics of the human body that can’t easily be made in a lab with some high-tech machinery. That’s why plasma donations are so important… A patient’s treatment, therapy, or recovery process may be entirely dependent on the plasma they provide. They are totally reliant on the kindness of the plasma donors for their survival. It may come as a shock to learn that one patient with primary immunodeficiency requires 130 plasma donors each year.

F.D.A. Allows Expanded Use of Convalescent Plasma to Treat Coronavirus Patients - The New York Times

Types of plasma donation

Our blood, on the other hand, consists of 55% plasma. As a result, plasma is the most prevalent component in human blood at all times. Plasma donations come in two flavors. First, there is the plasma-only donation, or “source plasma donation,” which is the first step. Second, there is the plasma donation that has been recovered. Even though the recovered plasma donation cannot be considered a precise plasma donation, plasma is nevertheless acquired from this source of donated blood. But don’t worry; it’s not as complicated as it sounds! First, let’s talk about the source of plasma donation, commonly known as plasma-only donation. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Source plasma donation/plasma-only donation

A plasma donation in this case is made by a healthy and willing donor. When a person is determined to be a plasma donor, plasmapheresis begins. An arm of a willing donor is pricked for plasmapheresis, which involves separating the plasma and cells in the blood with a high-tech machine. Afterward, the donor receives a transfusion of the donor’s residual blood cells, which are separated from the plasma. It was previously stated that this was not a plasma donation because the donor gave entire blood. Afterwards, the plasma is separated from the rest of the blood and taken from it.

How does this donated plasma help?

The importance of blood donation cannot be overstated. There are a number of chronic conditions and disorders that can be treated with this medication. However, we’ll go into much more detail in future posts. Consider reading up on the risks and benefits of plasma donation, my friends.

Enhancing plasma donation

We’ll answer your query on how to speed up a plasma donation in the following paragraphs. When it comes to the actual donation process, there is no way to speed it up. However, you might strive to speed up your body’s plasma regeneration process. If you didn’t already know, your body is capable of regenerating plasma. As a result, consuming a well-balanced diet helps hasten the process of regeneration. The more often you donate, the better.

Simple Tips and Tricks for Easier Donation

You’ve made the decision to donate plasma, congratulations. You’re doing great! Despite the fact that you will never hear from the people who will benefit from your plasma donation, the recipients are extremely appreciative of what you have done. It’s fantastic what you’re doing.

The problem is that you’re having difficulties with the donation procedure, however. It’s possible that your plasma has been labeled as “cloudy.” Alternatively, you may have noticed that someone else, who is donating the same volume as you, is completing their donation a lot faster than you. What’s going on here? In the five years that I’ve been donating plasma, my understanding of the most common donation concerns has grown, and I’d like to share it with you.

Indistinct Plasma

Your plasma may be “cloudy” because you’re eating high-fat foods, which may explain why you’ve been told that. Before making your donation, did you get a McDonald’s cheeseburger? In spite of the protein and iron your body requires, you’ll also be taking in a lot of grease in your burger, making your plasma appear hazy. I’ve actually seen a plasmapheresis machine stopped up by a donor whose plasma was that thick because of this diet. Prior to your donation, it’s best to eat leaner meats and avoid fatty foods.

Prolonged Donation Periods

This could be a sign of dehydration if you’re taking longer than others to complete a donation. Your blood will become “thicker” if you don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Each time you donate blood, you’ll have less plasma (the liquid portion of your blood) to work with. There are going to be additional cycles required for the pre-determined amount of plasma extraction. So, you’ve heard that since elementary school… Remember to stay hydrated!

If you don’t open and close your hand during the extraction cycle, your donation time may be greater than that of others. Blood can flow more easily through your veins if you open and close your hand frequently. A “squeezy ball” or “stress ball” is what I choose to use during my contribution.

Plasma trial results - NHS Blood and Transplant

during donation, the donor’s arm may vibrate or itch

We all know exactly what I’m talking about if we’ve ever experienced it ourselves. When the needle is sitting on the side of your vein, something happens (on the inside). The phlebotomist can simply change the rate at which blood is drawn from your body or the position of the needle in your arm to remedy this issue.

Dizziness or a tingling sensation

I haven’t had this happen to me, but I’ve seen a few folks who had in the past. People who haven’t eaten enough before their scheduled donation are more likely to experience this. The concept is the same as donating blood. Those with hematocrit levels that barely meet the bare minimum can also experience this. Dizziness following blood donation may be exacerbated if you’ve ever been diagnosed with anemia or borderline anemia (as I am) (similar to standing up too fast). To ensure your safety, sit up slowly on the side of the bed before exiting the donor floor.

You may need to have a little snack after you leave the donation site to assist alleviate any dizziness you may still be experiencing. Make sure you have a snack on hand shortly following your donation if you’ve seen this happening. Remember to eat plenty of iron-rich foods as well!

Bleeding from the Injured Area

Your needle-stick site will be coated with a gauze bandage and wrapped to keep it in place after your donation has been completed. It’s important to keep this bandage on for at least a few hours to verify that the wound has clotted and any bleeding has stopped. I’ve had to remove the gauze bandage very slowly in order to prevent the newly developed scab from being ripped off with the bandage. Is the bandage on long enough or the puncture hole has been reopened if you see blood coming from your puncture site? The new scab will form and all bleeding will stop once you re-bandage your arm with new gauze and leave it on for that long.

Puncture Site Ache

Please notify the phlebotomist immediately if you notice any discomfort in your arm while donating blood. Having them adjust the needle in the vein is generally all that is needed to fix this. Pain that is very intense may be a sign that the vein you are using for your donation has “blown,” or has ruptured. During the five years of plasma donation that I’ve had, I’ve only experienced this once. That way, you’ll be prepared. Despite the fact that it is rare, it does occur.

Ways To Speed Up Plasma Donation

What can be done to speed up plasma donation? You need to eat a diet high in protein and iron to repair your plasma more quickly. It’s also important to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. To make sense of it all, here’s a quick guide:

  • The day before and after you have donated, drink at least eight to ten glasses of water each.
  • Including chicken, chickpeas, dairy products (such as milk and cheese), and eggs in your diet will help you reach your protein goals.
  • Eat a diet rich in iron to get enough of the mineral. Folic acid is found in a wide variety of plant and animal foods.
  • In addition, there are a number of things you may do to keep yourself healthy:
  • Take a good night’s sleep, at least 8 hours.
  • The day of your donation and the 30 minutes following your donation should be free of alcohol and smoke.
  • Lastly, steer clear of junk food if you’re donating plasma, as it might make it appear milky. Because of this, you are unable to donate.
  • Do not engage in severe physical activity for at least 24 hours after donating blood. You need to give your body some time to recuperate.

How to Prepare for Your Plasma Donation

What to Eat Before Donating Plasma

Plasma donation can be scary if you have no prior experience with it. Don’t be concerned. With a few simple health behaviors, a speedy and comfortable plasma donation can be achieved. For this reason, it’s recommended to consume plenty of water and eat foods high in iron and protein before you donate plasma, as plasma contains around 90% water. You should have a substantial meal within two hours of your appointment on the day of your donation.

Not only does eating well after a donation keep your body healthy, but it also helps you live a longer, happier life. Additionally, it ensures that you will pass your pre-donation health screening.

There is a vitals check before every donation of blood, plasma, or platelets that you may be acquainted with if you’ve donated in the past. Your hematocrit (the percentage of red blood cells in your blood), as well as total blood protein, will be measured as part of your physical exam. Hematocrit levels must be checked before donating because the process destroys a small number of your own red blood cells. Before you donate, we want to make sure you have an adequate supply of red blood cells. Maintaining an ideal hematocrit level can be achieved through the consumption of an iron-heavy diet.

Iron-Rich Foods

Anemia or iron deficiency can be indicated by low hemoglobin levels. If you want to keep your blood healthy and improve your iron levels, you should eat iron-rich foods like beef. Your pre-appointment breakfast should include proteins that are rich in iron, which is found in animal sources and can be absorbed more quickly by the human body. Good alternatives for meats include lean red meat, chicken, and shellfish. Tofu, beans, quinoa, and lentils are all great vegetarian or vegan sources of non-heme iron, which comes from plant sources.

Foods rich in iron can be included to your diet in addition to the proteins listed above:

  • Edamame, edamame, broccoli, and dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are all good sources of vegetables.
  • Grapefruit, apricots (dried and fresh), watermelon, and strawberry.
  • Wheat, oats, and iron-fortified goods are some examples of grains (like pasta, cereal, or rice)

Protein-Rich Foods

Preparing your plasma donation diet around your recommended protein consumption (or a little bit more) is a smart move. You can find out how many grams of protein you require by using this nutrition calculator, and then consume the recommended amounts no later than 24 hours before your visit.

More than 1,000 units of convalescent plasma now collected for COVID-19 patients - NHS Blood Donation

To get the most nutrition out of your meal, choose lean proteins like chicken or fish.

Other foods high in protein include:

  • Beans
  • Shrimp
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Seeds, nuts, and nut butters

Vitamin C-Rich Foods

If you want to get more non-heme iron into your system, eat foods that are high in vitamin C. In particular, donors who adhere to a plant-based diet need to do so. Some foods that are high in vitamin C are also high in iron. Peas, strawberries and broccoli are just few of the many healthy vegetables that you can eat right now. Adding bell peppers, oranges, tomatoes, kiwis, and papayas to your pre-appointment meal is also a good way to get plenty of vitamin C.

What Not to Eat Before Donating Plasma

If possible, refrain from eating or drinking high-sodium or high-fat items on the day of your donation. A high-fat diet can cause lipemia, which is a condition in which your blood cells have an abnormally high number of lipids (fats), in addition to harming your general health. This can result in a “milky” appearance in your plasma, which might affect the results of blood tests. You may be prevented from donating if your donation cannot be properly tested.

Coffee, tea, red wine, chocolate, milk, and high-fiber foods should be avoided near your pre-donation meals if you want to increase your iron levels. The iron absorption of certain meals and beverages can be hindered if they are consumed too close to a meal or snack.

Also, if you smoke or use nicotine in any way, refrain from doing so at least one hour before making your gift.

What to Drink Before Donating Plasma

It is imperative that you drink plenty of fluids before to your plasma donation. Drinking enough of water is a fantastic approach to aid your body’s recovery after a plasma donation, as plasma contains 90% water.

Drink 9 to 13 cups of water in the 24 hours leading prior to your donation. The American Red Cross recommends that you drink an additional 16 ounces, or two cups, just before your visit to ensure that you are properly hydrated. Avoid consuming anything that is too hot or too cold while hydrating, as this could affect your body temperature. Try drinking water that is at room temperature rather than boiling it down.

When you’re properly hydrated, you’ll also be more productive. Plasma is primarily composed of water, thus consuming the required daily amount of fluids will hasten the donation process.

If you’d prefer not to drink as much water, some blood donation clinics recommend substituting low-sugar fruit juice. If this sounds appealing to you, go ahead and indulge yourself. Additionally, drinking orange juice is an excellent way to increase your consumption of vitamin C.

Prior to their visit, plasma donors should abstain from alcohol and caffeine to avoid dehydration and their pulse from being affected.

Other Ways to Prepare

The plasma donation should take no more than 45 minutes to an hour to complete. When giving plasma, there are a few simple things you can do to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Here’s what we think you should do:

  • Being well-rested the night before a big day
  • Reading, seeing, or listening to something
  • if you’re feeling chilly, bring a sweater or jacket to keep you warm
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing with easily rolled-up sleeves is recommended.

Please stay at home if you are ill, feverish, or otherwise unfit to be out in public. Come back when you’re feeling better; we’ll see you then.

Staying Healthy After Your Plasma Donation

Continue to look after your health after your plasma donation to prevent any side effects, such as weariness or dehydration, by following these simple guidelines:

  • When you get up, take your time.
  • In the two hours prior to your visit, have a snack or a small meal.
  • Make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking lots of water. Before, during, and immediately following your blood donation, you should consume an additional four glasses of water.
  • After your donation, you should abstain from alcohol for at least four hours.
  • One hour after the donation, refrain from using cigarette or nicotine products.
  • For the remainder of the day, refrain from doing anything vigorous, particularly heavy lifting.
  • Your next meal or meals should include enough protein to meet your daily needs.
  • Keep up your intake of iron- and vitamin C-rich foods.

Nutrition Tips for Regular Plasma Donors

Eat healthily if you want to become a regular plasma donor and come as often as twice a week. Diet plays an important role in determining whether or not you’ll be able to donate plasma in the future and how well you’ll feel afterward.

Plasma Donors | Red Cross of New Jersey

Regular donors should attempt to eat as clean as possible and consume a diet rich in protein and iron on a daily basis. In general, the same pre- and post-donation guidelines apply to fatty foods. Plan your decadent meals ahead of time so that they never fall within 24 hours of a scheduled visit.

If you’re prone to anemia, it’s a good idea to complement your diet with extra vitamins and minerals. For optimal iron levels, it is always best to talk with your doctor before taking any supplements or making any lifestyle changes.

Questions & Answers

What kinds of meat are the most likely to cause blood clots?

Basically, any fatty cuts of beef, hog (including bacon), or lamb will suffice. Also, black chicken meat and fowl skin are included.

If you’re eating fatty birds, like duck, you may notice that your plasma is milky and thicker than usual.

Will my plasma donation be denied if I have a burn on my arm from my previous job?

It’s possible you won’t be able to give plasma until the burn has healed because your body utilizes plasma to heal wounds, such as those caused by burns. However, the best person to answer it is the nursing staff at your donation center.

Is donating plasma dangerous for a person who lifts weights? Before lifting days, should I only do it?

After you’ve made a donation, there will be no restrictions on you. After donating, it’s fine to lift the day before, but not immediately following.

Hydration is also a good idea.

For low hematocrit levels, what is the best way to keep water and liquids from being lost when donating plasma?

Dehydration can be detected by an elevated level of hemoglobin in the blood, which indicates that the body has lost water. As a result, drinking plenty of water is the greatest approach to reduce the risk. There are no gimmicks, only more drinking.

As soon as your plasma has been diagnosed as being cloudy, how long till the cloudiness disappears? Is there anything I can do to hasten the process??

In my experience, murky plasma appears on the first donation of the week, but clears out by the second. Before donating, cut down fatty foods and consume more water. Not that you can’t have a cheeseburger and fries with a milkshake on the day of your donation, but don’t do it (or even the day before it you tend to eat those types of meals more often). That’s the only thing you can do in this situation.

When donating plasma, is blood flow slowed by the cold?

Natural coldness has never slowed down my ability to donate because I’m naturally that way. The finger prick to saline was usually completed in under an hour on most days.

Is it possible for me to donate plasma in a new center that has recently opened near my home?

Answer: I believe that is possible. If you’re still donating to the old center, you’ll probably have to prove that you’re no longer doing so before you can get started with the new one.

My heart rate is too high to donate plasma, so how do I lower it?

Breathing techniques might assist lower your heart rate if you’re feeling anxious about the donation process. Inhale slowly for 5-8 seconds, then exhale slowly for 8-10 seconds. You’ll need further help from a doctor if it’s related to a medical problem.

Is there a way to increase blood flow when I’m donating?

Being hydrated is the only thing I know of that actually speeds up your donation (apart from the machine itself). Keep hydrated every day, not just on contribution days, and you’ll get the benefits.

Wiggling your toes while donating plasma may or may not be beneficial.

It is true that the foam “stress ball” is squeezed and released several times throughout the extraction phase of the donation process; nonetheless, I have never had to wriggle my feet.

When donating plasma, is it possible to deceive the scale by inflating your weight?

Answer: No.

Are your veins “too tiny” to give plasma because you’re dehydrated? When I tried to do this before, they couldn’t find a vein that was suitable.

Having narrow veins is a genetic predisposition that cannot be remedied by drinking more water, however this does not preclude a person from being eligible for organ donation if they are otherwise healthy. Inexperienced or incompetent phlebotomists may have a better chance of success with your stick if they are referred to you. You have the right and the opportunity to request the assistance of another individual. Some phlebotomists were too difficult to work with for me, so I had to request that they not do my stick in the future.

Is your blood clouded because of an excess of protein?

When a person consumes an excessive amount of fat, their plasma becomes hazy, as you might expect. Depending on the sort of protein you’re consuming, you may be consuming more fat. Milkshakes, for example, can also cause your plasma to become clouded.

There is a question: How often can I donate plasma?

Answer: Donations are made twice a week, with at least one day between each gift, at every center. My schedule was Tuesday and Thursday mid-morning, this was some of the more slow times and I was able to get in and out faster.

Answer: Donations are made twice a week, with at least one day between each gift, at every center. My schedule was Tuesday and Thursday mid-morning, this was some of the more slow times and I was able to get in and out faster.

Every center adheres to the same rule: Donations are accepted twice a week, with at least one day between each. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I was able to get in and out of the library much more quickly because these were the busiest periods.

Apparently, some donation centers prefer to give males a bottle of water or sports drink instead of saline since they are less prone to experience unpleasant reactions to the donation process.

If a vein in the arm cannot be found, do plasma centers take plasma from the patient’s hand?

Answer: No. At the center where I gave, that’s what I saw.

When donating plasma, should I always use the same arm?

In order to minimize stiffness following donations, it is suggested that you alternate the arms. However, this is entirely up to you. When I had one arm that was significantly faster than the other after several years of contributing, I used it entirely. It wasn’t an issue for the center; rather, it’s about doing what’s best for the donor.

When preparing to donate plasma, can you eat salmon the day before you give it away?

Answer: Before the donation, I’d never heard of any problems with salmon or other seafood.

Although salmon is a high-oil fish, if you consume it before donating plasma, it may make the plasma less appealing.

It’s A Wrap!

It’s hoped that you’ve learned how to speed up plasma donation. Now that you’ve read about what to eat before and after blood donation, you may want to learn more. Thanks for your generosity!