Plasma Home » Blood Products & Services » Blood Products » Plasma What is Apheresis or Automated Donation? Automated donation is a type of blood donation during which blood components (platelets, plasma, or red blood cells) are donated. This is different than donating whole blood. The automated collection system used at TBC allows for any combination of platelets, plasma, or red blood cell units to be donated. What is plasmapheresis? Plasmapheresis is the process of collecting plasma from a donor. Using a system, the plasma is collected, and the platelets and red blood cells are returned to the donor. Just as in whole blood donation, a needle is inserted in a donor’s arm. Blood is drawn or collected through closed sterile tubing that passes through a centrifuge, which separates plasma from the whole blood. The plasma is collected in a sterile collection bag and almost all red cells and platelets are returned to the donor via the same needle. New sterile tubing and collection bags are used for each donor. You are never exposed to the blood of any other donor. Who can donate plasma? Almost anyone who is a whole blood donor can donate plasma. You are eligible if you are at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health. You can safely donate plasma every 28 days. Why should I donate plasma? To give someone a fighting chance at life! Plasma is frequently needed by trauma patients, burn victims, and others fighting serious illness and injury. There’s a special need for AB Plasma. As an AB blood donor, you have a unique opportunity to enhance your generous gift of life. In addition to being the rarest blood type, AB Plasma is universal and can be used for all patients regardless of blood type.