Pondering plasma

July 30, 2013 at 7:57 am

By Billie Rubin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

According to the Coalition for Plasma Science, “Plasma is often called the ‘Fourth State of Matter’, the other three being solid, liquid and gas. A plasma is a distinct state of matter containing a significant number of electrically charged particles…plasmas are estimated to constitute more than 99 percent of the visible universe.”

Plasma Facts

One theory as to why this fourth state of matter was so named in the 1920s is because it carried electrically charged particles; just like blood plasma carries particles: RBCs, glucose, clotting factors, electrolytes, proteins, hormones, platelets, etc.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *   *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

This summer, we are beginning to take plasma-only donations. Called a “T7 donation”, the procedure will be drawn on our apheresis Trima machines (the same machines that collect platelets) and can be done every 28 days (12 times per year). The loyalty point structure will work the same for T7 donations as it does for whole blood and platelet donations. For more information on our loyalty program, please click here.