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Is it harmful to donate plasma on a regular basis?

Q: Is it harmful to donate plasma on a regular basis? I donate it twice a week but I am wondering if my body replaces what I donate and does donating put my health at risk?

A:Plasma donation or plasmapheresis is the process of removing whole blood from the body and separating red blood cells from plasma. The red blood cells are returned to the donor and the plasma is retained for use in preparing therapeutic products. Donating plasma only removes the liquid portion of the blood and returns the red blood cells to the body. People cannot donate blood as often as they can donate plasma, since plasma does not include the harvesting of red blood cells. Generally, the body of a healthy donor can quickly replace the plasma that is removed during donation. Therefore, plasma can be donated up to twice a week. The current American FDA Regulations state that the maximum frequency of donation is once in two days, and no more than two times in a seven day period.

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