What is Plasma in Blood?

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Blood

Blood is a mixture of plasma and cells that flow through the whole body. It is a specialized body fluid which is responsible for supplying vital substances, such as sugars, hormones and oxygen, throughout the body. It also eliminates waste in the body from the cells.

Blood mainly carries RBC (red blood cells), WBC (white blood cells), blood platelets, plasma and serum as the major components. Among these elements, the main blood component is plasma.


What is Plasma in the Human Body?

Plasma can be described as a portion of the blood that is extracellular and liquid, transparent and pale yellow or straw-coloured. It consists primarily of clotting variables and other protein molecules. Overall, 50 to 55% of the overall blood volume is plasma.

Blood plasma primarily contains 80 to 90 percent of water while the remaining 10 percent is the nutrients, salts, enzymes, lipids, and hormones.

Plasma within the blood cells is found to be abundant in proteins, fibrinogen, clotting factors, and immunoglobulin. This protein is responsible for helping with coagulation factors and maintaining osmotic serum pressure as well.


What Does Plasma Contain?

Plasma is highly translucent compared to other blood cells. Also, other blood cells can be freely suspended inside the plasma. So, the features of blood plasma explain ‘what does plasma contain’. Blood plasma has other special characteristics:

  • Plasma majorly carries immunoglobulin, Fibrinogen, electrolytes and proteins.

  • The primary medium for excretory substance transportation is blood plasma.

  • Blood plasma is roughly 1025 kg/m3 or 1.025 g/ml in mass.

  • Plasma is the blood medium in which various forms of blood cells reside.

  • Blood plasma does have a long shelf life; it can also be stored and can be used for more than a year.

What is the Function of Blood Plasma?

The below-mentioned points are the explanation to the question ‘what is the function of blood plasma’.

  • Plasma is extracted from the liquid component of the blood and is routinely used for assessing the blood group of the patient in blood group research studies.

  • Blood plasma also includes vital proteins and other essential components required for optimal health. Hence, patients with liver failure and life-threatening injuries are given blood plasma transfusions.

  • Plasma is the fluid particles in the blood that contain the fibrinogen clotting agent which works by preventing excessive blood flow during injury.

  • Blood plasma also contains proteins that assist in the transport of glucose as well as other nutrients to various parts of the body.

  • Blood plasma helps to regulate body temperature and is responsible for regulating blood pressure.

  • Plasma can also be termed as the blood matrix. It is composed of coagulation factors, serum and protein compounds.

  • Along with blood clotting, the fluid matrix helps in circulation of blood platelets, red blood cells (RBC) and white blood cells (WBC), hormones, and the digested food particles.

  • As stated above, plasma also acts as the primary means of transporting excretory products by transporting waste materials from the cells to the excretory organs. From these organs, waste materials are flushed out of the body.

What is Blood Plasma Used For?

Plasma is usually given to patients with trauma, burning and shock, as well as people with serious liver disease or several defects in the clotting factor. This helps raise the blood flow of the patient, which can reduce shock, and helps with blood clotting. For conditions such as immune defects and bleeding disorders, pharmaceutical firms use plasma to produce treatments.


What is Plasma Donation?

A plasma-only donation can be defined as the process where the liquid part of the donor's blood is isolated from cells. Blood samples are taken from one arm and sent into a high-tech plasma-gathering system. The red blood cells and platelets of the donor are then returned along with some saline to the donor. The procedure is healthy and only takes a few minutes longer than a whole blood donation.

In order to retain the valuable clotting factors, donated plasma is frozen within 24 hours of being donated. It can be preserved for up about one year and frozen for transfusion to a patient where needed. Instead of prescription applications, Red Cross donations are also used directly for hospital patient transfusions. So, before the donation, one must know what is plasma in the body.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Who Can Do the Plasma Donation?

Ans. Plasma donors must generally be 18 years of age and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (50kg). Before their donated plasma can be used to produce plasma protein therapies, all people must pass two distinct medical examinations, a clinical examination screening as well as testing for transmissible viruses.


2. What is Plasma Cell Disease?

Ans. Plasma cell diseases can be studied as a type of blood cancer that causes plasma cells to become cancerous/malignant and can lead to serious harm to the bones, kidneys, bone marrow, heart, and immune system, causing patients to become ill. Systemic light-chain (AL) amyloidosis, Multiple myeloma, and monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease are plasma cell diseases. Plasma cell diseases such as mouldering multiple myeloma and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) are the ones where patients are not yet infected because they tend to have very little organ damage.