During a plasma donation, called plasmapheresis, blood is drawn from one arm and sent to the centrifuge that separates out the plasma. The red blood cells and platelets are then returned to you in the same arm. Plasma is used to help patients with severe burns, cancer or other potentially life-threatening conditions.
The Red Cross encourages donors with the AB blood type to donate plasma, as this is the universal plasma donor type. One donation provides up to four units of plasma for patients in need.
As you can see, blood donations are one of the most important things you can do to help others in need. There is no substitute for blood, and it can’t be manufactured. Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages from all backgrounds.