Fresh Frozen Plasma Dose Calculator

Created by Aleksandra Zając, MD
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD and Jack Bowater
Based on research by
Liumbruno G, Bennardello F, Lattanzio A, Piccoli P, Rossetti G Recommendations for the transfusion of plasma and platelets Blood Transfusion (April 2009)
Last updated: Nov 10, 2022

The fresh frozen plasma dose calculator helps you to make a quick decisions when you are faced with a bleeding patient. With this tool, you will find the plasma transfusion dose and the units needed at once. If you want to remind yourself about fresh frozen plasma uses, plasma donation, or what FFP is exactly, keep on reading!

We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace a professional doctor's assessment. If any health condition bothers you, consult a physician.

What is FFP (fresh frozen plasma)?

Human blood consists of liquid and solid parts. The solid parts consist of cells - red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, while the liquid part is plasma alone. The liquid makes up about 55% of the whole blood volume, with cells being the rest (~45%). Blood plasma is mainly water, but also contains essential proteins, such as coagulation factors, immunoglobulins, and albumins.

An average human has approximately 3 liters of plasma in their body. You can calculate it more precisely in the plasma volume calculator.

Plasma for medical uses comes from blood donations (or plasma donations). The blood is then centrifuged and split into red blood cell concentrate and platelet-rich plasma. After one more centrifugation, we get platelet concentrate and plasma. Freezing it within 8 hours after donation, we get a product called fresh frozen plasma - or FFP for short.

How to use fresh frozen plasma dose calculator?

The calculator works in two ways: first, it tells you how much plasma your patient needs. Then, it counts the number of units you will need to meet this demand. Check the following fresh frozen plasma dose calculator's instruction if you have problems understanding it:

  1. The first field to fill in the patient weight. You can switch between units - no need to use the weight converter.
  2. Then, choose the right dose for the patient - how many milliliters of FFP they should get per kilogram of body mass. A dose of 10-20 mL/kg increases the coagulation factor levels by 20-30%.
  3. Choose the volume of your plasma unit.
  4. The fresh frozen plasma dose calculator tells you right away how much of the product you should give to the patient - how much in total, and how many units you will need for that.
  5. You can still modify the fields. The calculator will recalculate your result immediately.

What are fresh frozen plasma uses?

Every blood product has its specific uses. As mentioned before, plasma has a high content of proteins. One of these proteins are coagulation factors, which play an irreplaceable role when it comes to keeping your blood within your vessels. When in shortage, you are extremely vulnerable to even minor injuries, as they may cause serious, life-threatening bleeding.

The indications for plasma transfusion include:

  • Management of severe bleeding;
  • Lack of coagulation factors, such as haemophilia;
  • Not enough coagulation factors, like in hepatic insufficiency;
  • Antidote to warfarin toxicity (when the calculated INR is too high);
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP); and
  • Prevention of expected bleeding (e.g., before a surgery).

The dose of FFP infusion depends on the patient's weight.

Despite blood plasma being most responsible for the blood volume, FFP infusion should never be given to treat volume expansion.

How often can you donate plasma?

Human plasma can be obtained from either whole blood donation or a specific plasma donation.
During the exclusive plasma donation, blood is drawn from the donor, the plasma is separated from it and the rest is pumped back into the donor's body. The whole process is called plasmapheresis. It usually takes longer than a regular blood donation.

How often can you donate plasma? Because you don't lose the solid part of your blood, your body can regenerate the plasma much faster. You can donate plasma twice in a seven-day period.

And don't worry about the quantities in the fresh frozen plasma dose calculator. The amount of the donated plasma is counted individually, based on your weight. You will donate only an amount that is safe and healthy for you.

FAQ

How do I administer fresh frozen plasma?

To administer fresh frozen plasma:

  1. Get the patient’s consent.
  2. Determine how many units of plasma the patient needs.
  3. Fresh frozen plasma requires thawing in a water bath - it usually takes 30 minutes.
  4. Ensure the plasma unit group is compatible with the recipient - this must be checked bedside by two qualified members of the staff.
  5. How fast can you run FFP? One unit of fresh frozen plasma should be infused in roughly 30 minutes and cannot take longer than four hours.
  6. Throughout the transfusion time, the patient has to stay under observation.

How much fresh frozen plasma do I administer to an 80 kg patient?

The therapeutic dose of fresh frozen plasma ranges from 10 to 20 mL/kg and is usually 12-15 mL/kg.

You need to multiply the patient’s weight by the dose:

80 × 15 = 1200 mL

An 80 kg patient needs approximately 1200 mL of fresh frozen plasma.

Why do you give fresh frozen plasma?

You usually give fresh frozen plasma (FFP) because of its high concentration of coagulation factors. This replaces them in a patient to treat or prevent bleeding. The list of indications for FFP infusion includes:

  • Severe bleeding or its prevention;
  • Lack of, or shortage of, coagulation factors;
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP);
  • Warfarin toxicity; and
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

What blood type is a universal plasma donor?

The blood group AB is a universal plasma donor.

Don't mistake this with O group, a universal blood donor. The blood of the O group has no antigens on the red blood cells surface. The plasma of the AB group doesn't contain any antibodies against antigens. That's what makes it universal.

How does fresh frozen plasma work?

Fresh frozen plasma, the liquid component of blood, contains special proteins - coagulation factors. Because of this, it enhances blood coagulation when there’s a lack of endogenous factors or during massive bleeding.

Sometimes, we also use it as prevention of bleeding, e.g., before surgery.

Aleksandra Zając, MD
Patient weight
lb
Unit volume
ml
Dose
ml
/kg
Total plasma dose
ml
Units needed
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