How does the actual plasma blood donation work?
The process is quite simple. Basically a plasma donation company wants to separate your plasma from your red blood cells. What does this mean? Well, your blood consists of white and red blood cells which float around in a goo. For a better word the goo is called “plasma”, and this is what a machine will extract from your blood. So, a machine is hooked up to you for about 90 minutes to suck your blood out, separate the plasma from the other blood cells.
How does it separate the blood?
Not to bore you with the details, but a centrifuge is used pull the plasma down to the bottom of the funnel and into the collection unit (also known as a thick plastic bag).
What does the machine look like?
Well, it’s just a small unit that does the aforementioned extraction. You only have a needle in your arm, and the machine does the work of processing the blood.
Does it hurt?
No, not really at all. The only pain point is a very minor one when the needle gets stuck into your arm. Beyond that there isn’t much pain at all. So once that needle is in your vein, you won’t really even notice anything. That is why many centers will have a TV or other forms of entertainment you can partake in while you wait.
NOTE: Apparently platelet donation can be quite painful. These are totally different procedures and make note of the name.
I hope this helps explain how the system works. Please leave comments about your own experiences, rumors or any other question you might have on plasma blood donation.