Authored by Cathy L. Chambers in Society
Published on 11-02-2009
Plasma, the yellowish fluid that the body uses to transport blood cells, platelets and other materials through the body is used by medical researchers as well as to help burn victims and individuals with clotting disorders. Plasma donation centers are often found in large urban areas and around universities where there is a large population of prospective donors. The process is time consuming but the potential for helping others as well as earning extra cash keeps many donors returning to make donations.
To donate plasma for money, you must find a blood bank in your area. Several websites list donation centers by state. Bloodbanker.comoffers a list of several donation sites for each state. Others, like Biolife Plasma Services list only those centers serviced by their company. Some companies, like Access Clinicalsuggest that you can earn up to 500 dollars per donation. That figure is based on plasma containing specialty antibodies such as Lyme disease or Hepatitis A or B. Most sites offer 30 dollars per donation. Assuming that you donate the maximum of twice per week, you could potentially earn an extra 240 each month.
Potential donors must weigh over 110 pounds and be over 18 years old. Biolife Plasma Services requires potential donors to provide two forms of identification to provide proof of age and address.
A physical is required, complete with blood work to screen for sexually transmitted diseases. Though the physical is required only on the initial visit, donors must agree to periodic testing for syphilis. At the initial visit, staff will also ask questions concerning your medical history. Because of the paperwork and the physical, the first visit may take several hours.
Upon completing the screening, the collection process can begin. Staff takes your weight and tests your blood via a pinprick. Ultra violet light and a dye are used on your fingers to ensure that you are not donating multiple times. You will be given a drink and allowed to use the rest room. Once the process is begun, it cannot be stopped. The staff will ask you to sit in a reclining chair and stick the needle into your arm to begin the blood draw.
Unlike donating whole blood, plasma donation takes several stages. The blood is removed from your arm, the plasma machine removes the plasma then the blood cells are returned to your body. This cycle may repeat several times before the collection is complete, depending on the flow of your blood. It may take as little as 45 minutes or as long as two hours. When the collection is complete, the staff member will remove the needle from your arm and ask you to drink more water. At this time, the collection is complete and you will be paid. Many times payments are made in cash.
In the past, donating plasma for cash had a negative stigma attached to it. Many people believed that only the dregs of society would engage in “selling” their blood. Recently though the economy and other factors have brought a wider segment of the population to donation centers. Students especially have found plasma donation a quick and lucrative venture.