Tom Hanks said he was hooked up to 'the world's most complicated Slurpee machine' when he donated plasma to help coronavirus patients

kacuna@insider.com (Kirsten Acuna)
Tom Hanks tells Stephen Colbert what it was like to donate plasma on Tuesday night.
Tom Hanks tells Stephen Colbert what it was like to donate plasma on Tuesday night.

CBS

Tom Hanks gave plasma twice to help coronavirus patients and described his experience as painless.

"I thought it was like giving blood," the 64-year-old actor said during a Tuesday night appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." "You go in and they hook you up to, essentially, the world's most complicated slurpee machine and I thought they take the blood out."

"They take the blood out, but then they put it right back in. They're taking the plasma out of your blood," he said, detailing the process. "You're not losing any blood. You're essentially losing moisture, water, liquid, the plasma that is in your blood. I did it twice. There's no discomfort in it."

Hanks said he filled out a lot of paperwork, laid down, took a nap, and then received a bottle of Gatorade when he was all finished. 

Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, announced in mid-March they both had tested positive for the coronavirus while in Australia. Hanks was working on Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic.

"We give about 800 milliliters and from that four people can be treated," said Hanks.

"I'm going to say it's about the size of a Big Gulp," Hanks added, referring to the 7-11 slurpee cup, when Colbert asked how much 800 ml looks like. 

Hanks said he gave about enough plasma to fill up a 7-11 Big Gulp container.
Hanks said he gave about enough plasma to fill up a 7-11 Big Gulp container.

REUTERS/Andrew Burton

For reference, the Big Gulp is 32 ounces. 800 ml translates to a little over 27 ounces.

Colbert was stunned that they take that much plasma from you, but Hanks said it's split four ways for patients.

Colbert couldn't believe how much plasma Hanks donated.
Colbert couldn't believe how much plasma Hanks donated.

CBS

"I am hoping that they will take just a thimble of my plasma and from that create the Hank-ine," Hanks joked with Colbert.

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