Individuals who experience a severe trauma, burn or shock often lose a significant amount of blood volume, and are depleted of many necessary electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that help to balance the amount of water, nutrients and pH level inside the body. In this situation, a plasma transfusion can provide the lifesaving blood volume needed to restore their blood pressure and volume status, as well as restore electrolyte levels.
In addition, people with liver disease or clotting factor deficiencies may not have the proper substances in their blood to allow their blood to clot normally. Whenever an individual has a cut or injury, these clotting factors ensure that they do not lose too much blood. Plasma donations ensure that these individuals can receive a plasma transfusion to supplement their body’s clotting ability and stop excessive bleeding from occurring. Finally, children and adults with cancer sometimes experience complications in which their body has used up all of their natural clotting factors. In cases of this disorder, called disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), transfusions of fresh frozen plasma may be critical.