What is plasma in blood?

January 2, 2024

What is plasma in blood?
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What is plasma in blood?

Plasma is the liquid part of blood that contains water, important proteins, and other substances that help in blood coagulation, immunity, blood pressure regulation, and nutrient transportation.

What is plasma?

Plasma is the liquid part of blood that makes up around 55% of our blood, while the remaining 45% is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets that are suspended in the plasma. Plasma consists of approximately 92% water, as well as 7% essential proteins such as albumin, gamma globulin, and anti-hemophilic factor, and 1% mineral salts, sugars, fats, hormones, and vitamins.

Properties of plasma

Plasma is a pale yellow liquid that constitutes more than half of the volume of your blood. Blood is made up of multiple components, including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.

After all blood components are extracted from whole blood, including platelets (thrombocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and red blood cells (erythrocytes), plasma is produced. The remaining straw-colored fluid is plasma which is 90–92 percent water, but it contains critical solutes necessary for sustaining health and life. Plasma is the largest single component of blood. Although the red blood cells dominate the overall color of blood, plasma is an important component. It is a mixture of water, proteins such as albumin, fibrinogen, and globulin, as well as dissolved salts, minerals, electrolytes and immunoglobulins which help fight infections. Plasma contains 6–8 percent proteins.

Important constituents include electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, magnesium, and calcium. Trace amounts of additional substances such as organic acids, pigments, enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids are also present.

The cells in your umbilical cord that form the embryo produce plasma cells. Following development, in adults, plasma proteins are formed in the spleen, liver cells, blood cells nearing the end of their life, and the soft tissue of your bones (bone marrow).

Functions of plasma

A variety of vital roles are played by the various components of blood plasma, and blood plasma has many uses.

  • Transporting nutrients: Millions of cells make up our body. Our cells require nutrition to grow, repair, and perform daily tasks. The digestive system’s nutrients can be absorbed by blood plasma, which distributes them throughout the body. Among these nutrients are carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and amino acids.
  • Managing waste products: When cells perform their tasks, they frequently produce waste products, which when present in greater quantities can be harmful to the body. These waste products can be taken up by blood plasma, which can then transport them to the kidneys or skin for breakdown and elimination.
  • Respiration: In addition to releasing carbon dioxide, our cells require a constant flow of oxygen. Hemoglobin in blood plasma and red blood cells assists in transferring carbon dioxide from the body’s cells to the lungs and oxygen from the lungs to the body’s cells.
  • Transporting hormones: Hormones function as messengers between bodily parts. Numerous biological functions, including growth and metabolism, are impacted by hormones. Hormones can travel throughout the body via blood plasma.

Uses of plasma

Patients suffering from burns, trauma, shock, severe liver disease, or multiple clotting factor deficiencies are frequently administered plasma. It facilitates blood clotting and increases the patient’s blood volume, both of which can help avoid shock. Pharmaceutical companies use plasma to create treatments for diseases like bleeding disorders and immune deficiencies. 

Some of the uses of plasma are as follows:

Developing Treatments: Blood plasma’s proteins and antibodies can be utilized to create medicines for uncommon illnesses, such as immune system issues.

Cancer: Plasma transfusions are occasionally necessary for adults and children with various cancers, including leukemia.

Transplant surgery: Certain recipients of bone marrow or liver transplants require plasma.

Hemophilia: Donated plasma can aid a person with this uncommon disorder where their blood lacks sufficient clotting factors.

Donation of plasma in blood

In medicine, blood and its constituent parts are invaluable resources. Plasma can be donated in two ways:

Donating whole blood: A medical professional inserts a needle into a vein in your arm to take blood. Plasma will subsequently be separated in a lab as needed.

Donating plasma only(plasmapheresis)- During a procedure known as plasmapheresis, blood is drawn, the plasma is extracted, and the remaining blood is given back to the donor. While this kind of donation requires a little more time than whole blood, because it only involves the donation of plasma, it produces a greater volume of blood plasma, allowing donors to give more often.

People with AB blood type have a universal type of plasma because it doesn’t have antibodies in it, which means that anyone can receive this plasma safely. People in emergencies can receive this type of plasma immediately, which could mean the difference between life and death. Many people can donate blood plasma, which can help treat infections and conditions and save lives.

Technique of plasma separation 

Centrifugation, the process of splitting the extracted blood sample into multiple layers, involves the blood spinning in a centrifuge machine. Denser blood cells fall to the bottom of the yellowish-colored layer, while lighter plasma forms the upper layer. To maintain the functionality of the different clotting factors and immunoglobulins, the collected plasma is frozen within 24 hours; it is thawed before use and has a one-year shelf life. It’s interesting to note that although O-is the ideal universal blood donor, AB blood group plasma is the most favored because it doesn’t contain antibodies, making it safe for everyone to use without worrying about a negative reaction.

Similar to whole blood, plasma is first examined to guarantee recipients’ safety.In accordance with FDA regulations, a series of tests is performed on the collected plasma to detect transmissible diseases, primarily hepatitis A, B, and C, as well as syphilis and HIV. The fractionation process separates individual plasma proteins.

Conditions affecting plasma 

Several rare conditions affect plasma in blood including:

  • Amyloid light chain amyloidosis: A protein disorder in which the antibodies from plasma cells alter their structure and bind together to deposit into organs, impairing the organs’ ability to function.
  • Blood disorders: Small injuries can result in severe bleeding, and hemophilia and von Willebrand disease are conditions where blood doesn’t clot properly.
  • Immunodeficiency: A disorder where your body lacks enough antibodies (immunoglobulins) to defend against infection.
  • Myeloma: A blood cancer that inhibits the production of new, healthy blood cells by the body and causes abnormal, cancerous plasma cells to form in the bone marrow.


Plasma is the yellow-colored liquid component that constitutes the majority of our blood. It performs a variety of critical functions, such as aiding in immunity, blood clotting, and regulating blood pressure, blood volume, and pH balance. Plasma in blood also plays a crucial role in transporting blood cells, nutrients, proteins, waste products, and hormones throughout our body.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I keep my plasma healthy?

Healthy eating, frequent exercise, drinking plenty of water, maintaining proper hygiene, and taking vitamins to strengthen the immune system can all help keep plasma in good condition.

2. How does plasma keep me healthy?

A vital component of the therapy for many major medical conditions is plasma Important components are also present in plasma in addition to water, salt, and enzymes. These consist of the proteins fibrinogen and albumin, as well as clotting factors and antibodies. For this reason, blood drives are held to collect plasma donations from donors of blood.

3. Why should I donate plasma?

Individuals who are able to give blood might want to think about giving plasma. Due to its great potential for treating conditions like cancer, liver failure, severe blood loss, uncommon diseases, and other health problems, it is highly sought after.

4. What can I expect during plasma donation?

You must weigh 110 pounds and be 18 years old to donate plasma. You will require testing for certain viruses, such as hepatitis and HIV, as well as a physical examination. Typically, the procedure for plasma donation takes one hour and fifteen minutes. Plasma can be donated twice within seven days.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.


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