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What Is Plasma?

Plasma is the straw-colored liquid portion of blood comprised of water, salts, and proteins. It is the clear liquid portion of blood that exists after both red and white cells are removed. Plasma makes up approximately 55% of blood and is composed of 90% water.

Plasma protein therapies are medicines made from donated plasma. These therapies are used to treat a number of rare, chronic, conditions including primary immunodeficiencies, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, hereditary angioedema, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, Rh incompatibility, cardiopulmonary needs, pediatric HIV, burn victims, hepatitis, certain liver conditions, shock/trauma victims, and bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.

Plasma contains numerous proteins, which are essential for the proper functioning of the body. If a person has insufficient levels of anyone plasma protein, his or her body cannot carry out vital functions, causing a variety of chronic and life-threatening medical conditions. However, due to its unique biological composition, it cannot be prepared synthetically. These patients can only rely on plasma donors.