Authored by Sama Fazal in Society
Published on 05-12-2009
People will do anything for money. It is true to a large extent. But donating blood for money? Does that seem like a macabre idea? How ‘bad’ is this phenomenon really and for whom? How popular is it and with whom?
Should donating blood be a noble cause? It could be optional. Those who can afford it may give it for nothing. However, there are many poor countries, where people struggle to keep body and soul together and they believe it is the thing to do in the absence of other earning skills and opportunities. And when there is the Red Cross or the various other plasma centers that are prepared to pay for it, the donor may be justified in doing it.
Selling plasma gets you quick cash and your body barely misses it. It replenishes itself in a few days and fetches you up to $ 20-25 per visit. Good enough for something you don’t have to work for and have very little to lose. Plasma is in high demand and if your blood plasma contains special antibodies then you go up a notch on the donor charts.
Plasma donations pay each time and are often the refuge of cash-strapped students. Read this verbatim account of a regular donor – “I used to do it, got about 25$ a week, they give you a bonus for weeks in a row – it is really not worth it because of the energy drain and the food you have to buy to build back up. I also have visible vein scars 30 years later. Place an ad for house cleaning or something instead.”
Wise words there from the bitter voice of experience. Young people especially need to recognize and believe that they have other skills that will fetch them an income. Also, think of what you can give back to society. Are you so impoverished at heart that you will sell, rather than give, blood to a man in need? However, if you must donate (for money or for nothing), it is recommended that you have a meal before the donation, drink plenty of water after, and absolutely no alcohol for at least 72 hours after. Also beware of unauthorized centers; they justify their ineptitude and negligence by paying you and you just might end up paying dearly for the rest of your life if things go wrong somewhere.
‘Serial’ blood donors need to be a responsible lot, however much of an oxymoron that sounds. They need to ensure that they are disease free. Secondly they definitely must not donate more than the stipulated thrice a year; this prevents the body from going into a steady slide. It takes blood about two months to completely replenish the body’s supply. And those looking only at the green bucks, do remember that donating too often causes iron deficiency in the body. Excessive donation of blood or plasma is tantamount to abuse of the body and it is a pity that there is really no legislation to curb it.