Here’s Why My Blood Is Actually Yellow

– I’m about to show you that
my blood is actually yellow. Yeah, I know I’ve said that blood is red, but it’s actually yellow, and that’s because of
our dear friend plasma, a friend, quite frankly, we’d
like to see a lot more of, because we’re experiencing
a huge plasma shortage, and not just in your city,
not just in your country, but in the entire world. And in honor of International
Plasma Awareness Week, I’m here to tell you what plasma is, how we’re running out, and how your blood is actually yellow. Huge thank you to Abbott
for sponsoring this video. Be-woo. Imagine going down a big water slide, it’s steep, it’s fast, it’s dry? Without any water, a water
slide is just a tunnel of pain. Without any plasma, your veins and arteries
would be the same thing. You see, your blood is made up
of four primary ingredients, red blood cells, white blood
cells, platelets, and plasma, which is made up of a bunch
of its own ingredients, salt, enzymes, antibodies,
other proteins, and water. A lot of water. In fact, 90% of your
plasma is made up of water, making it the perfect
transportation medium for all the good stuff in
your cardiovascular system. So what do we need plasma for? Well, it’s made for
many incredible things. We use it to produce therapies to help folks with chronic diseases. We can use plasma to help treat
disorders like hemophilia, genetic lung disease, or
primary immunodeficiency. Plasma even gets used
in emergency situations to treat patients who
are experiencing shock, trauma, or even serious burns. My mom actually needed plasma transfusions in order to help her beat
her cancer diagnosis. The need for plasma is enormous, about 125,000 Americans are dependent on treatments that come from plasma, and for the individual,
the need is great, too. Just to treat one patient
suffering from hemophilia A, we need about 1200
donations for a single year. Unfortunately, unlike the Powerpuff Girls, plasma can’t be made in a lab. There are countless numbers
of people around the world, desperately in need of plasma, and the only way to get
it is through donations. And because of the pandemic, U.S. plasma collections
fell by 20% in 2020, folks stopped showing up to give. And while a worldwide
pandemic might reduce the desire to give plasma, it hasn’t reduced the need to receive it. See, my blood’s, hold on a
second, I gotta spin it down. There are two ways we actually get plasma, source plasma and recovered plasma. Source plasma’s where
you donate your blood, they separate the blood from the plasma, and then return the blood back to you, therefore, you can
usually donate more often. Recovered plasma is when
you donate whole blood and they keep everything. And once you donate, your plasma gets sent to
wherever it’s needed most. You can literally be saving lives, and in some instances, earn
some money on the side, but more on that later. There are over 800 plasma donation centers in the United States and
the process is really easy, but don’t take it for me. – It’s a really safe,
really seamless process. – It’s literally like three
seconds of a small pinch and then it’s over. – It’s super easy, it
takes like maybe an hour. – During the process, you can
sit there and do whatever. – I was in college for
most of my donations, so I did anything from studying, you can listen to music
on your headphones, you can bring a full-on
laptop, watch movies, TV shows. – Plasma gets replaced in the
body about every 24 hours, so you’re allowed to donate twice a week. – For me going twice every week, it really helped so many people, so it’s just become a
part of my daily life. – That’s two times a week
you could donate your sweet, sweet yellow blood. Wait, is your blood really yellow? Well, obviously, if you ever
had to cauter a bloody nose, you know that your
blood is red, but is it? It turns out that your blood
is composed of many things, but mostly plasma, which normally makes up
about 55% of your blood. And once the blood enters the
centrifuge and it’s separated, plasma’s actually yellow. Like I said, the majority
of your blood is yellow. So if the majority of your blood is plasma and plasma is yellow, then
your blood would actually be, well, it’s still red,
but you get the picture. So why is your blood red
if the majority of it is composed of yellow plasma? Well, that’s because of a protein in your blood cells called hemoglobin, which combines with iron molecules to transport oxygen throughout your body. And what happens to iron when it oxidizes? It rusts and turns red. For example, have you ever left something
made of iron outside too long? Maybe you forgot to put
your bike away, it rained, and then all of a sudden
the chain started to rust. Well, what’s happening
is the iron molecules are oxidizing and turning red, the same thing that happens to
the iron in your blood cells. Well, it’s not the same thing, your blood cells aren’t rusting. Look, it’s not a perfect metaphor. (upbeat music) Are you chock full of all of your plasma and still unsure if you should donate? We’ll try this one on for size. Depending on where you are
and with whom you donate, you can actually get paid for your plasma, turning your golden plasma
into actual gold, and it works, resulting in two-thirds of
the world’s plasma donations, coming from right here in the U.S. – You literally just get to chill there and do whatever you want
and make money for it, and you get to help a ton
of people out doing it. – Visit to learn where you can donate plasma and get answers to all
of your other questions. It’s fast, it’s easy,
and it can save lives. Speaking of saving lives, what’s the rarest blood type in the world? Click here to find out. Huge thank you to Abbott
for sponsoring this video, and, as always, stay happy and healthy. (upbeat music)
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