Plasma donation or apheresis is usually a safe process and used to save lives. But like most of the medical treatments, some short term and very little long term side effects do exist with this too.
Typically, plasma is the component of blood. Most of the medical therapies, these days, require plasma to continue the treatment. Therefore, plasma donation is the vital step to contribute something towards the health treatment and gain something good. It is useful for treating medical conditions such as wound healing, blood transfusions, respiratory disorders, bleeding, immune system deficiency and any other life-threatening conditions.
Plasma donation is generally safe for healthy adults fulfilling donation eligibility criteria. But it may have minor short term side effects such as fatigue, dehydration etc. Sometimes serious long term side effects may occur but that is very rare.
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Probable Short Term Consequences of Plasma Donation
- Usually, plasma consists of a quantity of water. Donation of plasma removes some amount of water from the body, which may be the cause of dehydration. The donor may feel some dizziness or lightheadedness due to dehydration.
- The dehydration or electrolyte imbalance may result in tiredness. Also, there might be the possibility of weakness, twitching, sweating, low BP, pallor, nausea and vomiting.
- There might be some possibility of bruising at the portion of injecting the needle.
- Feeling of discomfort is also possible during the process of donation. It may also develop some allergic reactions such as hives, itching, swelling and redness.
- There might be the possibility of inflammation or infection at the venipuncture site. It may result in feelings of warmth, pain, swelling etc.
Be sure to contact staff members or the CSL plasma center, in case of any discomfort or uneasy feeling during the plasma donation process.
Probable Long Term Consequences of Plasma Donation
Usually, there are very minute and rare long-term effects of plasma donation on health or well-being. As per the information released by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a person can donate plasma once in a period of 2 days, but should not donate more than twice in a period of 7 days.
The donors donating plasma more frequently and for a long period of time may develop the risk of depleting immunoglobulin levels. It might also decrease their immunity to fight against infections. It is recommended for regular plasma donors to consult with CSL plasma or healthcare providers on a regular basis.
Essential Pre-preparation To Eliminate Plasma Donation Effects
- Have enough sleep. Lack of sleep may develop some risks at the time of plasmadonation.
- Avoid fatty meals a day before the donation. Take a well-balanced and healthy diet.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol or nicotine a day before the donation.
- Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages a day before donating plasma to avoid the health risk during the time of donation.
- Consume at least 4 to 6 glasses of water, fruit juices, or other caffeine-free drinks before 2 to 3 hours of donation.
Checklist To Be Done After Donating Plasma
- Consume light and easily digestible meals.
- To rehydrate the body again and replenish the lost liquids, consume as much as a liquid for the hours after plasma donation.
- Do not consume any alcoholic drinks or nicotine.
- The arm used for donation should not be used to lift any heavy object for a few days after donation.
- The venipuncture site should be dried and cleaned carefully and properly, to avoid any infection.
- Raise the arm and apply pressure, in case of noticing any bleeding at the site of needle insertion (venipuncture site).
- Sit with the head between the knees or lie down, in case of experiencing any feeling of fainting or dizziness.
- Have a check on health conditions for a few days after the day of plasma donation.
Plasma donation is a great cause that contributes a lot towards goodwill. Be always sure to check the eligibility criteria and health conditions before donating plasma. Even though the side effects of plasma donation are very minor, always consult and take a check with the healthcare provider, in case of noticing any symptoms.