10 Facts About Fresh Frozen Plasma

fresh frozen plasma
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Generally, a number of people encounter the need for blood transfusion. However, most of them are never sure about its components or any other fact about the whole process.

Blood plasma which is commonly transfused is actually frozen to keep it fresh and prevent the blood cells from dying out. After blood collection, it is separated from whole blood and frozen in a dedicated freezer.

Blood plasma is the liquid part of the blood that is essential in blood coagulation which is usually transfused especially in patients experiencing heavy bleeding.

Moreover, it serves as one of the reserves for protein in the body and helps protect the body from infections.

It constitutes of 92% water, 7% protein, and 1% minerals. Apart from the biological details, below are 10 facts about fresh frozen plasma.


Fresh Frozen Plasma

1. First Used in World War II

The idea of using fresh frozen plasma was first proposed in 1918 and first used in World War II. A bigger project was established in 1940

2. Frozen at -20 C or below

Fresh frozen plasma is obtained from the whole blood before six to eight hours after the blood is collected, after which, it is stored in a dedicated freezer at -20 C or below.

3. Remains Stable for Up to 1 Year

The frozen plasma blood can remain viable for up to a year if properly maintained.

4. 250ml per bag

One bag of the fresh frozen plasma blood is estimated to have an approximate volume 250ml.

5. Average of 1 IU/mL per coagulation factor

In addition, the FFP is known to contain an average of 1 IU/mL of each coagulation factors. Fresh frozen plasma contains plasma proteins and all the coagulation factors. The labile factors V and VIII also fall in this category.

6. Prepared by Spinning

Fresh frozen plasma is refrigerated blood plasma that is normally prepared through the spinning of fresh blood in a tube that also contains anticoagulant inside a centrifuge.

The blood plasma is ready when the blood cells have been separated i.e. deposits at the bottom of the tube. They are then frozen or placed in a dedicated freezer.

7. Necessitate Compatibility

FFP has to be compatible with the recipient’s blood type, for instance the blood group A, B, AB or O compatibility checks.

8. Rh factor not necessarily considered

Fresh frozen plasma compatibility does not depend on the RhD antigen factors.

9. With Hemophilia Precaution

Precaution should be taken when Hemophilia B (Factor IX) deficiency is concerned.

However, it depends on the presence of Factor IX concentration. The fresh frozen plasma can be used when the said coagulation factor is missing.

10. Dosing

The increase in factor levels is significant to make a change in the coagulation status of the individual. It depends on the size and clotting factor levels of the person.

The volume of 1 Unit plasma is equivalent of 250 mL where 1 mL of plasma has about 1 u of coagulant factors hence 1 Unit of the fresh frozen plasma is equivalent to 220 u coagulation factors.


Fresh frozen plasma is frozen blood plasma, obtained from whole blood. To summarize, it is the pale yellow component of blood that can be separated through mixing with substances like anticoagulants and placed in a spinning process until isolated, which is eventually kept in the freezer for future use.

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