515 Grams of Plasma

Although, in a way, it seems like posting naked pictures of myself, here’s what 515 grams of my own plasma looks like, freshly centrifuged out of my blood across the street at Canadian Blood Services:

515 Grams of My Plasma

Every time I donate it runs the same way: after about 30 minutes of paperwork (“Have you ever had sex with anyone who has received money or drugs for sex?” and so on), I get hooked up to to the Haemonetics PCS2 machine. The machine sucks out a bunch of my blood, whips it around and magically takes out the plasma, puts my blood back (that seems the most unlikely process of all), and then repeats. Here’s how Haemonetics explains it on their site.

Apparently some people can get their allotted due of 515 grams in two go-arounds; I always seem to take 3. In general I’m in and out in about 90 minutes; sometimes it takes two hours, especially if I linger for an additional chocolate chip cookie.


Ken Williams's picture
Ken Williams on August 8, 2007 - 14:49 Permalink

Reading that made me weak.
The Haemonetics PCS2 is like a mechanical mosquito plasma cow. Plasmatic.

Ann's picture
Ann on August 8, 2007 - 15:00 Permalink

That is nice of you to do that, Peter.

oliver's picture
oliver on August 8, 2007 - 22:13 Permalink

Does the need for plasma outstrip the need for red cells, platelets and such? Is your plasma compatible with more blood types than your whole blood? Do you crave cookies more often than you could get them, if you donated only your whole blood? I didn’t realize there might be outreach for plasma-only donations like there is for blood. Is there?

Paul's picture
Paul on August 29, 2007 - 14:34 Permalink

Plasma donation is a good thing. (But I think I looked at this picture too soon after breakfast…it kinda made me queasy.)