Light micrograph of plasma cells, 100x
Plasma makes up about 55% of total blood volume and is composed of mostly water (90% by volume) plus dissolved proteins, glucose, clotting factors, mineral ions, hormones and carbon dioxide. Plasma serves a variety of functions, from maintaining blood pressure to supplying critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity. Plasma contains proteins that are rich in antibodies and clotting factors.
This set of conditions includes those where the immune system is compromised due to a condition, a treatment, or procedure. There are over 250 types of immunodeficiency diseases. These are treated with a type of medication called “IVIG” or Intravenous Immune Globulin. IVIG is made from combining plasma of a variety of donors. IVIG may also provide other health benefits to patients in need as well as to treat selected neuropathy patients. There are other uses for specific immune globulins and more uses being determined each day through medical research.
Hemophilia is a hereditary bleeding disorder. The blood of individuals with hemophilia does not clot. This disease is treated with Factor VIII, a protein derived from plasma.
Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency is a hereditary lung condition in which the lungs do not have the ability to defend themselves against diseases and pollutants. Over time, the lungs become less and less able to function. This medical condition is more deadly than the emphysema caused by smoking. Plasma donors provide important proteins which enhance the lives of individuals with this condition.
Albumin is made from plasma and is used to treat burn victims, trauma patients, and individuals who experience shock.