In January of this year, we discontinued the automated procedure that collected one unit of red blood cells and two units of plasma using the Alyx machine. You may have heard us refer to it as T6. Later this spring, we will transition to using our Trima machines, which normally collect platelets and plasma together, to also collect plasma by itself.
Why the change?
Using the Trima machines, we will be able to collect plasma more efficiently. We will also be able to focus our use of the Alyx machines on double red blood cell collection, which we call T5, to help patients who need red blood cells.
How will the new procedure work?
The new plasma procedure, called T7, takes about 45 minutes, and since you won’t be donating red blood cells as well, you’ll be able to donate every four weeks.
Who makes an ideal plasma donor?
If you have the blood type AB, you are the universal donor for plasma (meaning that people with all blood types can receive your plasma). The catch is that only 4 percent of the population has type AB blood — so if that’s you, now you know why you’re in demand! There is often a need for plasma from other blood types as well. You may qualify for the plasma procedure even if you don’t qualify for platelets, so ask a staff member about it.