What is fresh frozen plasma?

By William Aird


Fresh frozen plasma (FFP) is plasma that is prepared from a whole blood or apheresis collection and frozen at –18 C or colder within the time frame as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions for use of the blood collection, processing, and storage system (typically within 8 hours of phlebotomy):

  • On average, units contain 200 to 250 mL, but apheresis-derived units may contain as much as 400 to 600 mL. FFP contains plasma proteins, including all coagulation factors.
  • FFP contains normal levels of the labile coagulation factors, factors V and VIII.
  • FFP should be infused immediately after thawing or stored at 1 to 6 C. After 24 hours, the component must be discarded or, if collected in a functionally closed system, may be relabeled as thawed plasma.

Recipient-donor compatibility:

Plasma must be ABO compatible with the recipient’s red cells. Compatibility with RhD is not necessary in plasma transfusion. Compatibility tests prior to transfusion are not necessary.


FFP serves as a source of plasma proteins for patients who are deficient in or have defective plasma proteins.

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