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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The most frequently asked questions on plasma and plasma donation You can find the answers to FAQs here. If you would like to have additional information, please put your questions to the specialists at Europlasma (spenderinfo(at)europlasma.at). You are also welcome to let us know if you want us to contact you personally here.
What happens when you donate plasma?
When you donate plasma the blood flows through a sterile needle into an enclosed disposable tube system. It is centrifuged or filtered to separate the blood cells from the liquid blood (the plasma). The blood cells are then returned to the body using a disposable tube and the plasma is collected in a bag or bottle. The entire procedure goes on next to the donor, a computer controlled machine monitors the plasma donation so the whole process is very gentle on the donor. The amount of plasma donated depends on the body weight. The plasma donation session lasts about 45 minutes.
Who can donate plasma?
Anyone aged at least 18 years is allowed to give plasma if they fulfil the health requirements and have a body weight of at least 50 kg. The state of health is assessed on the basis of the medical record established by a form that is filled in and in an interview with a doctor.
How often can I give plasma?
Donating plasma has scarcely any effect on the body and is possible up to 50 times a year. But there are some rules to follow: There must be “donation-free” days between donor sessions and you cannot give plasma more than twice within a seven days period and not more than three times in 14 days.
What does donating plasma bring for me personally?
Donating plasma brings many advantages: On the one hand you receive a compensation to cover your costs – you can donate up to 50 times a year – and on the other hand you get a regular medical check-up free of charge and are always kept up to date about your state of health.
Can I become infected when giving plasma?
No. The entire donation procedure is carried out using a new sterile one-use-only set. This disposable set is air-tight sealed. The blood and the plasma only circulate in this set and have no contact whatsoever with the environment. There is no possibility of contact with other blood or any other materials.
What tests must donor blood and donors themselves go through?
A number of medical tests are made to establish the suitability of the donor: blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, blood count (haematocrit, haemoglobin, total protein). These tests are made before every donation, a more thorough medical examination is made before the first donation and is then repeated periodically every four months. Further tests are then made above all to establish the safety of the plasma (HBV, HCV, HIV).
What are the consequences of deliberately providing false data?
If you have any doubts about being suitable as a donor please let us know, it could be a matter of life or death for other people. Providing deliberately false information leads to exclusion from our donor facilities. Legal consequences cannot be ruled out if an action leads to harm for other people.
What is the “polymerase chain reaction” (PCR)?
PCR is a new genetic technology method for screening pathogens. When disease causing germs find their way into a person’s bloodstream these are recognised by the immune system. The immune system begins to produce defensive substances, the so-called antibodies. A number of weeks may pass before these antibodies can be proved to exist in the blood. The tests applied in routine diagnosis will usually recognise these specific defensive substances (antibodies) that are produced to fight pathogens that cause illness. The time between the infection of a person and that when the antibodies can be proved is known as the “diagnostic window”. The PCR test does not diagnose the antibodies in a person, but the cause of the illness itself. These pathogens can be established in the blood in a much shorter period of time. The “diagnostic window” is thus significantly reduced. This is an additional safety factor for the people who receive blood products.
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