Thursday, December 19, 2013

Feel Tired After Donating Plasma - What Causes Tiredness After Donation?

Q: I have been plasma donating the past 3 weeks to help pay my rent. Lately, after plasma donating I feel tired and worn out. I just don't feel right after donating - I also feel tired all the time from the regular donation. The drowsiness is starting to affect my work performance. Should I stop plasma donating? I started giving platelets for cash, but switched to plasma donating because you can donate plasma more frequently than platelets. I need the money because they cut my hours down at work, but if it's making me feel tired and sick post-donation, should I stop for better health?

Answer: Yes, plasma donating will make you feel tired all the time - the plasmapheresis machine is sucking your energy! At every plasma center, there's a poster with the center's collection safety procedures. What plasma donation centers don't tell you is that by taking plasma, they also take proteins and lipids out of your body - all the minerals that give your body energy to live.

This is why plasma centers check protein before donation. Frequent plasma donation makes you sleep, gives you less energy all the time, and can lead to serious complications from a lowered immune system, like pneumonia and lung embolism.

You may even faint or pass out when plasma donating if you continue to donate regularly.Your body feels tired for a reason - it's telling you to stop the madness.

Feeling tired after donation plasma is just the beginning - soon you'll have no energy, be constantly, chronically sick and catch every cold and flu germ going around in your office environment. Even trained phlebotomists recommend taking a break from plasma donation - donate for 3 months, and give your body 3 months to rest, for example.

Allergic to Anti-Coagulant Used in Plasma Collection

Saline is used to replenish plasma volume in the blood after plasma donating, and to prevent dehydration. You could be allergic to the anti-coagulant used in blood plasma collection, which is mostly made of saline. Saline allergies are common - up to 25% of the North American population is allergic to saline medications. A mild allergy might make you feel sleepy during/after donation, without making you feel severe symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Where to Donate Plasma in Galveston Texas

Biolife Plasma Services, located at 3802 Broadway in Galveston, has been in business for over six years This is one of 14 centers owned by CSL Plasma Services, L.P., a Houston-based company, that has been in operation for 2-1/2 years.

Plasma Phlebotomists in Galveston, TX

The donors who visit this center are greeted with a smile by a well-trained, professional staff. The donor goes through a screening procedure which, for the new donor, includes a physician exam. The total process, called plasmapheresis, takes approximately 1-1/2 hours.

The center uses automated machines which draw the blood from the donor, separates and collects the plasma, and then returns the blood cells to the donor. The automated process further assures donor safety. The plasma donor may donate up to two times a week.

Where Does My Plasma Go? How is it Used?

Every unit of plasma collected goes through a battery of tests, assuring the quality of the medical products which will eventually be manufactured from American's plasma collected at facilities such as this one. You may ask, "What is plasma used for?"

Plasma, which is the clear liquid portion of our blood, is manufactured into many life-saving biological products. These include tetanus and hepatitis vaccines. Factor clotting concentrate for ' hemophilia patients, products for the treatment of bum victims and more.

You, or a member of your family, have probably received the benefits of one of these products. The United States can be proud that more than 70 percent of the world's plasma needs are met because of donors who are willing to take time out of their day to donate at a facility such as this one.   

Blood and Plasma Drives in Galveston

Upcoming blood drives in the Galveston County Mainland area are Sunday at Pine Drive Baptist Church in Dickinson from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 14 at the Wal Mart Super Center in La Marque from noon to 2 p.m. and June 15 at the First United Methodist Church in Dickinson from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where to Donate Plasma in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Donating plasma can help save lives, but some students say they do it for another reason — the money. Community Biolife Plasma, a plasma center at 101 Lake Pointe Drive, Oshkosh Wisconsin, pays first-time donors $20, and $30 on each subsequent visit. 

How to Qualify for Plasma Donation in WI

WI plasma donation laws state that potential donors must pass a basic physical, HIV test and drug screening. They must weigh more than 100 pounds and be at least 18 years old. The tests take about an hour and are done on the first visit, says Laura Humphrey, assistant manager of Community Bio-Resources.

About 35 percent of the center's donors are students, Humphrey said. Senior David Bragg said he donates plasma for the financial benefits. "I do it for the money," Bragg said. "If I'm helping save lives, that's just part of getting paid."

Other Oshkosh Plasma Donation Centers

The Community Blood Center, 2211 Oregon St., does not pay donors, but it transfers plasma to patients in area hospitals free of charge. Donated plasma is made into injections used to treat a number of diseases and medical conditions, ranging from hemophilia to immune deficiencies.

These injections are sold to hospitals at a profit, Humphrey said. Donating plasma is different than donating blood. Plasma is 90 percent water and can replenish itself in eight to nine hours, while blood takes much longer to replenish itself.

Therefore, people can donate plasma two times in a seven-day period, but can only give blood once every eight weeks. Some donors said they have had bad experiences giving plasma. "I've been stabbed, had bruises and swelling in my arm." Bragg said.

Plasma Phlebotomist Training in Oshkosh WI

Plasma center employees go through a gradual three-month training. They practice drawing plasma on other staff members and their trainer. Humphrey said. "For the most part they are very good, but once in a while you will get someone who is just beginning," Bragg said.

Junior Park Roelse said he experienced swelling and bruising the first time he donated plasma. "It was pure pain. I'll never go back again," Roelse said. Donating plasma is safe, Humphrey said. If an accident happens and plasma is not taken, donors still get paid for their time, she said.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Where to Donate Plasma in Albuquerque New Mexico

College students, the unemployed, the down-and-out, queue up before opening time at Albuquerque's Blood Plasma Donor Center, CSL Plasma, at 1307 Central NE, or the Albuquerque Plasma Corp., across from the bus terminal.

How Much Does the  Albuquerque New Mexico Plasma Center Pay?

The hundreds of plasma donors in Albuquerque, many of them "regulars" at the two centers, each receive $20 or $30 for a donation and another $40 if they donate a second time in a week — the maximum the federal regulations allow.  Albuquerque Plasma Corp., which pays $20 for the first donation, alto pays a "referral" fee of $10 for each new donor that previous donors bring in.

It's a pretty big business. And it's gone over "with a fine-tooth comb" by inspectors of the Bureau of Biologies of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, say managers of the Blood Plasma Donor Centers in Albuquerque New Mexico.

There are some 30 to 40 pages of federal regulations that govern the operations of plasma donor centers, say federal plasma inspectors in Albuquerque. Basically, the regulations try to insure that donors are protected and the product is safe.

Are  Albuquerque Plasma Centers Different from Blood Banks?

The plasma centers are often confused with United Blood Services, the non-profit, all-volunteer, blood bank. Blood Services went to the unpaid volunteer system four years ago because it was getting "less than desireable" paid blood donors. While blood Services supplies whole blood and other blood products to hospital patients throughout northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, the plasma donor centers send their product to a different market.

The plasma is shipped to companies which refine and purify it to be used in vaccines and serums and for diagnostic purposes. Plasma is not transfused directly into patients. Plasma donors may donate twice a week, and blood donors may donate once every eight weeks.

How Do Plasma Centers Work?

The plasma donor's unit of blood is separated into plasma and red blood cells, and the red cells transfused back into the donor. BOTH Albuquerque New Mexico centers have physicians on duty who examine each potential plasma donor.

Who Can Donate Plasma in Albuquerque?

Extensive blood tests, urinalyses and other tests are performed. Donors may not at any time have had syphilis, hepatitis, malaria, anemia, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, or a protein imbalance. Organizations do not accept drug addicts or alcoholics. With alcoholics, it is not so much that their disease harms the plasma products as much as they may cause "disciplinary problems" or have severe reactions to donating. However, donations by alcoholics aren't dangerous to the donor or to the plasma products.

The misconception that plasma donor centers are taking the "lowliest groups of people" isn't true. Anyone is welcome to come and donate at a plasma center. It's really not that bad. Plasma centers are under such tight federal regulations that they can't just accept anybody.

Plasma center clients are mostly college students, the unemployed, people who need something to keep going. Or working people who need extra income. The blood Plasma Donor Center aims for 450 donations a week. The Albuquerque Plasma Corp., which opened on Aug. 5, has 300 donations as its weekly goal. To insure that donors do not donate twice a week at both centers, each center takes anti-fraudulent measures, like marking their fingers with a special stain which shows up under fluorescent light.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Can Pregnant Women Donate Plasma?

Q: Can pregnant women give blood plasma? Also, can you conceive while donating? I have never donated plasma before so don't know anything about the process.  From what I understand, it is dangerous to a pregnancy to donate plasma. However, my aunt regularly donates plasma and it sounds more involved than typical blood plasma donation so I would venture to guess that you can't do this while pregnant, either.

Answer: You should not donate if you're pregnant, or while nursing. Plasma donation is a great gift, but is very stressful on the body, and depletes your system's fluids, making it a bad idea.

Do not give blood or plasma if you might be pregnant, and for 6 months after birth. Your baby needs all of your body's blood, plasma, and platelets to stay healthy. No licensed blood plasma centers would let women donate their plasma during pregnancy.

Can You Conceive While Donating Plasma?

Yes, you can conceive a baby while donating plasma, but you're more likely to be successful if you follow all of the plasma center's rules for donation, and stay healthy. I don't know if you can donate plasma while taking fertility drugs, but donating plasma won't harm your chances of actually getting pregnant (at which point you should both celebrate, and stop donating plasma.)

If you're TTC and not on birth control, you should take a pregnancy test before every donation, to make sure you're not pregnant. My mother told me that when she got pregnant in the 80's, there wasn't a glut of at home pregnancy tests like now, so she donated plasma without even knowing, and accidentally induced a miscarriage.

Why Can't I Donate Plasma While Pregnant?

Plasma donation while pregnant is a bad idea, because your body (and your baby!) needs all of the plasma fluid they can get. Donating plasma lowers the amount of plasma fluids, and nutrition in your blood .

It is also found during pregnancy that the plasma, or fluid part of the blood, increases more rapidly than hemoglobin. This dilutes the blood, and raises plasma homocystine levels. Red cell numbers increase, but not as much as the plasma volume increases, so, although there are more red cells, the percentage is decreased. Elevated levels of plasma homocysteine can lead to serious complications in pregnancy.

Therefore, it's not safe to donate plasma while you're pregnant.

Can You Donate Plasma After a Miscarriage?

You can donate plasma 6 weeks after having a miscarriage. However, you should wait more time than the minimum 6 weeks to let your body heal, depending on the severity of the bleeding. After a miscarriage, your body loses blood, iron, and nutrients from the placental wound, and you should refrain from donating immediately. After 6 weeks, your body's iron, protein, and red blood cell level should return to normal. All women's bodies take different amounts of time to heal - some up to 4 months, or 12 weeks after a miscarriage, depending which stage (late or early) the miscarriage occurred.

Pregnant Plasma Donors and Risk of TROLI

Before donating, you will be screened for conditions which might make giving your plasma unsafe.  Unfortunately, the disease which causes Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI) is found more frequently in fresh and frozen plasma of pregnant women. Pregnant women have been found in studies as more likely to pass on TRALI to plasma recipients.

With regards to plasma, in the future pregnant women will be taken out of the donor pool for plasma regardless of blood type due to the risk of white cell antibodies causing several deaths a year involving TROLI (transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury).

Plasma Donation Screening Process

Before donating, you'll be asked on several forms if you suspect you might be pregnant, and if you are, plasma centers will not let you donate. In addition, all donors plasma is screened for the pregnancy hormone, HCG, after it's collected. Beta HCG can be detected in your blood's plasma, which is taken from a blood test.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Can I donate Blood Plasma With Tattoos or Piercings?

Q: Can I donate plasma with a new tattoo? I visited a plasma center, and they said there's a 6 month deferral. Is this true, or just tattoo discrimination?

Answer: You might be confusing plasma donation with blood donation, which has a deferral period of 6 months (in Canada at least) after getting a new tattoo. Some plasma centers have a deferral period of twelve months for a person with tattoos. This is to prevent plasma recipients from getting hepatitis. It could cost someone their life.

You could always call a donation center and ask them. Contact the plasma center nearest to you for state-specific eligibility guidelines for donors.

FDA Guidelines: "Current FDA guidelines state that tattooed donors can give plasma as soon as the inked area has healed IF the they reside in a state with applied inspections and licenses for such facilities AND a sterile needle and ink were used. Individual plasma centers are allowed to implement more strict guidelines than the FDA, so please contact your local donor facility for specific guidelines."

Regulated Vs. Unregulated Tattoo Parlor States

 Currently just over half of states regulate tattoo parlors, currently 32 states.  Incidentally, you must wait for a twelve month period to give blood ONLY in the unregulated states. If you're in a state that does have an inspection and licensing for tattoo parlors, the donor is eligible again as soon as the tattoo site heals, usually within 30 days. Should you have gotten your tattoo last week, you are not allowed to give blood or plasma.

Can I Donate Plasma with Piercings?

I, personally, don't have much experience with piercings. After doing a little research, I found this: "If performed with a needle, in most centers, there's a 1 year waiting period. You may donate immediately without waiting period after getting a body piercing, if you can prove a sterile needle was used."

So I would assume it is safe to give blood,and then get your ears pierced. But getting a piercing before you donate might disqualify you from being a donor at some centers.

Other Requirements for Donating Plasma

You have to be 17 to give blood products in Canada, and 18 in the US. Some states allow you to donate at 16 with parental consent. How much plasma you may donate depends on your weight, since you must weigh at least 110lbs to donate plasma.

Furthermore, every time you donate plasma, you will be tested for blood pressure and your iron levels. All donors need to maintain a hematocrit (blood iron level) of at least 13, and blood pressure within the normal range for your age and height/weight. First time donors get paid more, and some centers have a generous referral program.

 You usually cannot give blood within 12 months of visiting a foreign country regardless of if you are tattooed or not.  If you visit any of these areas after a tattoo is applied, you have to wait one year from the date of leaving the high risk area.

You can't donate within a year of getting the birth control shot.

As for smoking, you shouldn't smoke within 24 hours of donating plasma.

How Often Can I Donate Blood Plasma?

Lastly, plasma donating times can vary. The number of times you may donate is also restricted, the policy at most centers is twice a week. You can donate plasma twice a week, but no more than 4 times in a 14 day period, with one day of rest in between. Inquire at your local plasma center what their rules are on this.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Can You Donate Plasma With a Cold?

Q: Can I donate Plasma With Cold Symptoms?

I'm sick with a cold/flu, and have no money for medications - nyquil, ambien, tylenol, you name it. I considered plasma donating to buy the OTC cold medicines I need, and make up for lost days at work (from being sick.) Will the plasma center let me donate plasma with cold symptoms? What are their rules on sick individuals donating?

Answer: No, sorry, you can't donate plasma with a cold, flu, or virus infecting your system. The reason isn't to protect plasma recipients - it's to protect you, the donor's, health.

The rules for plasma donating say you can't have a fever above 99 degrees, cough, sniffles, or a runny nose on the day of donation. In other words, you should be completely free of cold or flu symptoms and feeling healthy before you donate.  This is because your body makes white cell germ antibodies using plasma, and if you donate plasma, your body lacks the substance needed to create antibodies.

Can I Transmit My Cold Germs to Plasma Recipients?

No, you can't transmit germs or virus by being sick while donating. Cold germs reside in your air and nasal tissue lining, and don't affect the blood plasma. Nobody gets hurt if you donate while sick except you. This is why there's a screening and rejection process, to make sure your temperature is in the normal range and you feel good before plasma donating.

What are the Effects of Donating With a Cold - What Will Happen?

Donating with a cold lowers your immune system, and leads to lingering illness, chronic cough, slower healing times, severe fatigue, and even pneumonia. When you have a cold or flu, it's better to stay in bed, drink hot soup and orange juice, and let your body heal completely. Donating while you have a cold will mess up your body's system, and lead to chronic/serious complications.

Find some other way to make money while you're sick. You could start a blog about plasma donation, and make money off the advertising space. You could also sell artwork on Etsy, become an ebay powerseller, or exchange your writing for profit on gig sites like Fiverr.

In the long term, plasma donating while sick, or even while you're healthy, is a bad idea. You never receive something for nothing - and what you're selling is your body's health. Your body needs blood plasma to transport red blood cells, and heal cuts, wounds and infections like the common cold. In the end, it's better not to donate plasma, but if you need the money, wait until your cold/flu is finished to donate plasma again.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Can You Donate Plasma While Breastfeeding?

Q: Can I donate plasma while breastfeeding my 3 month old baby? I know that plasma donating
during pregnancy is a big "no." I had a friend who donated plasma right after having a baby (she wasn't nursing, but the baby was formula fed.) She said she felt very sick to the point of throwing up after donating, but I know every woman's body is different. But while breastfeeding my newborn, I keep thinking of how we need money for bottles, and formula, and breast pumps, everything. Can plasma donating affect my milk, or contaminate the milk with coagulant? Would donating dry my breast milk, or somehow harm my newborn son?

Answer: According to Dr. Naleen Katz, Boston medical expert on breastfeeding and mastitis:

"Lactating and breastfeeding women are eligible to donate six months after having a baby. You should wait 6 months after giving birth to allow your body to heal. You can donate 6 months after giving birth, because with good nutrition your plasma levels, hemoglobin, iron and protein levels will return to normal."

Next, coagulant can't contaminate your breast milk, or make it harmful for the baby. Anti-coagulant (which keeps your blood from clotting while plasma donating) is a water-soluble solution. Breast milk is fat-soluble, meaning anti-coagulant won't enter the milk.

Nursing women need to take extra precautions before donating. Plasma makes up all liquids in the body - include byproducts of human lactation. When breastfeeding women are dehydrated before plasma donating, it can dry up her breast milk, especially with regular donation over long periods of time. Because nursing puts a large demand on body fluid levels, excess dehydration from plasma donating can  also cause effects including nausea, vomiting, and even vein clotting. This could be the complication that made your friend feel sick (even if she wasn't nursing.)

Nursing women should drink an extra 16 oz-1 gallon water before going in to donate, especially in the 2 hours leading up to donation. This will help you avoid complications like tiredness, sweating, racing pulse, and nausea.

Also, avoid breastfeeding in the hours before blood plasma donation, to let your body fluid levels stay stable. You shouldn't breastfeed for 2 hours before donation, and at least 4 hours after. Be sure to change your feeding schedule, or switch to formula feeding for a few hours time.

Overall, every woman's body is different. Listen to your individual body's symptoms and signals, and if you start to have a bad reaction to donating, stop donating while breastfeeding.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Can I Donate Plasma Taking Medications?

Plasma donors often ask me, "will my medication get me disqualified from plasma donating or platelets?" The answer - yes and no. While some medications are harmless, acne medications like Avodart will get you banned for life from plasma donating. Some medications, like certain antibiotics, disqualify you from donating for 30 days after the last dose. Still other medications are perfectly fine, like allergy medicines, birth control shots, and antacids.

Always call the plasma donation center or blood bank first because each center may have different rules.

Here is a list of medications you can and can't take before plasma donating:

  • Acne Medications (Accutane, E-Mycin, Solodyn, Soriatane, Propecia and Proscar): Must wait at least 30 days from last dose to donate.
  • Acne Medications (Roaccutane): indefinite deferral from donating.
  • Acne Medication (topical acid creams): no ineligibility from donation
  • Allergy or Anti-Histamine Medication: those with mild allergies and on anti-histamine therapy can donate. Chronic allergy sufferers, or those taking strong doses of anti-histamines are disqualified. If you have had an allergy shot, you can donate.
  • Antacids (like Tums, Alka-Seltzer, Prevacid, and Prilosec OTC): you can donate immediately, with no wait.
  • Anti-Coagulant, Anti Clotting Factor Medication, and Blood Thinners: prescription Blood thinners: donors are disqualified while taking long-term prescription blood thinning (anticoagulant) medication. This includes Coumadin (Warfarin), Heparin, and other blood thinning products. Taking blood thinners while donating leads to abnormal plasma, clotting, excessive bleeding, and unacceptable quality plasma for making anti-anemic medications.
  • Anti-Depressants or Anxiety Medication: no affect on plasma donation eligibility.
  • Anti-Fungal Medication (topical:) Topical anti-fungal medications, like for hair, nails, skin and scalp, have no affect on donation.
  • Antibiotics: Donors taking topical antibiotic creams, such as for athletes foot rash, fungal or nail infection can donate immediately. While taking oral antibiotics for an internal infection, like cipro, penicillin, bactrim, or amoxicillin, you must wait until 30 days after the infection has healed.
  • Anticonvulsant (Anti-Seizure) Medication: you must wait 1 year after your last seizure before donating again.
  • Arthritis Medication (osteoarthritis): you can donate immediately. 
  • Arthritis Medication (rheumatoid arthritis): indefinite, lifetime deferral from plasma donating.
  • Aspirin: Wait 48 hours for effects to wear off before plasma donating or platelets. Aspirin thins blood, which leads to excessive bleeding at injection site.
  • Asthma Medication: must wait 30 days after last athsma attack to donate, cannot donate if you've ever been in the ER for an athsma attack.
  • Birth control pills: Such as yasmin, yaz, ortho novum, and the birth control ring are fine. You can also donate immediately after getting the quarterly depo shot.
  • Blood Pressure Medication (high:) as long as your blood pressure is under control using medication, you can donate.
  • Blood Pressure Medication (low blood pressure): as long as your blood pressure is above the normal range using medication, you can donate.
  • Cholesterol Medication: high cholesterol controlled under medication, you may donate plasma.
  • Diet Pills: yes, you can donate, but all donors must remain above 110 pounds to maintain eligibility.
  • Hormones (Male, Female, or Menopause/Hormone replacement therapy): Male/female hormones (estrogen or testosterone) are eligible to donate. Hormones for hormone replacement therapy are eligible to donate immediately.
  • Hormones (growth hormones:) Cannot donate if you've taken beef-derived growth hormones before 1985. After 1985, taking growth hormones results in no disqualification.
  • Internal anti-fungal medication (oral ingested antibiotics:) for yeast infection, candida, or oral thrush, you must wait 30 days from the time of healing to donate.
  • Steroids (intramuscular injection): wait 2 days after receiving the injection to donate plasma
  • Steroids (topical, oral, and injection): you can donate immediately, without waiting.
  • Nasal Decongestants: May donate 1 week after being symptom free (from cough, cold, fever, runny nose, stuffy nose or sore throat.)
  • Natural Supplements (including fish oil pills, valerian root, st john's wort, iron pills, muscle bulk supplements, protein, bee pollen, cinnamon/ginger pills, and vitamins): you can donate immediately, with no affect on donation.
  • Schizophrenic Medication: yes, you can donate.
  • Sleeping Pills and Tranquilizers: you can donate immediately, with no waiting period.
  • Thyroid Medication: those whose thyroid levels are under control can donate plasma immediately.

What About Self Medication, Medical Testing, or Unlicensed Drugs?

If you did clinical trial testing for new medications, you need to inform the plasma center before donating. Unlicensed drugs by the FDA may have lingering side effects, even months or years after the last dose. Generally, clinical trial drugs have to be out of your system for 30 days before plasma donating.

If you self medicate, it depends on the medicine. Self injected (synthetic, not beef or pork) insulin is a perfectly acceptable prescription medicine for donating. Illegal drugs, or using needles not prescribed by your doctor, will disqualify you for life from plasma donating.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Does Donating Plasma Make You Lose Weight?

Q: Does plasma donation help with weight loss? Does donating plasma filter much fat and calories from your blood? I'm mostly asking about temporary weight loss, but also, if I eat the cookies and the juice, is it a wash? I've had some friends who lost a little weight plasma donating before. But I've donated blood for almost 10 years and I've never noticed a difference in my weight following donation.

Answer: You can burn a significant amount of calories by donating plasma. A blood plasma donation is equivalent to 650 calories and a plasma donation equals 470 calories. By donating the maximum amount allowed you will lose 3600 calories worth of blood per year, roughly equivalent to the number of calories in one pound of fat. Donating plasma every eight weeks means that you would give up the equivalent of 1 lb of weight per year.

When you lose your plasma, your body burns extra calories to replace it.  Blood also contains a few calories per litre. Replacing the valuable white blood cells takes the most energy. Remember that it takes several days to replenish lost blood tissue, so it has a negligible effect on calorie loss a few days after donation.

Can I Donate Often Enough To Make a Difference?

At a maximum, you'll lose 650 calories over a week by donating plasma, and you can only donate twice within 7 days. Basically, it's impossible to donate enough blood plasma to make a noticable difference (every donation burns only a few calories per time, every, what, twice a week?), and since you can't exercise the day of donation, there's not much of a positive effect. Even if donating helps you lose a little bit, FDA regulations won't let you donate plasma often enough to have a big impact on overall weight loss.

Fluid Weight Loss When Donating Plasma

Although plasma centers replace your plasma with saline, your blood volume dips after donation. Donating plasma temporarily takes one pint of liquid plasma out of your body.  Since a pint (the amount of a blood plasma you've donated) is a pound, you'll experience a (temporary) pound of weight loss when you give plasma.

Donating temporarily reduces your weight, so weighing yourself right before and after donating plasma will reveal that you're one pound lighter. But plasma centers try to replace the same volume of plasma taken with a saline solution.

So you're losing a small amount of blood volume by having plasma taken, but any weight loss is strictly temporary, until your body replenishes plasma. To stay healthy, it's recommended to drink at least what you lost in juice in water, and then drink some more.

Stay Hydrated During Plasma Donation

I used to manage a plasma donation center here in Northern Illinois. Before and after donating plasma, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and stay well hydrated. Plasma is made up of 98 percent water.  So, when you donate plasma, be sure to drink plenty, and eat high protein foods, to keep your body strong with necessary nutrients and electrolytes.

Donating plasma is a lot like losing fluid from sweat during exercise. There's not much difference between sweating and plasma donating, except when you sweat you only lose water, and a few electrolytes.

Can I Donate When Underweight?

If you  weigh less than 110 pounds, you're advised not to donate plasma, because underweight people need all the blood their body can provide. If you donated while way under the recommended weight, you are probably feeling the effects similar to hypovolemia or anemia.

Can Donating Plasma Make You Gain Weight?

Normally, you won't gain weight just from donating plasma. Weight gain from donating plasma is very uncommon, but it's not entirely unheard of. Frequent plasma donation can deplete your body's protein stores, inducing an effect called hypoglycemia  Hypoglycemia can cause accumulation of fluid between tissue spaces, leading to weight gain.

However, the after effects of donating the plasma cause hunger and weakness that arises from the removal of plasma. Plasma also contains proteins of the blood. You might gain weight from plasma donating because you instinctively eat more calories to make up for the energy lost during donation.

Tip: If you don't already do so, weigh yourself on the digital scale before donating and after, and before going to bed and after waking up and voiding.

So, Should I Donate Plasma For Weight Loss?

Asking if plasma donating helps weight loss is like asking if amputating one of your legs helps weight loss - you'll lose some of your body mass, but not in a healthy way. Studies show little to no correlation between plasma donation and large amounts of weight loss. But studies have shown other significant long-term health problems in long term plasma donors, like poor vein health and a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

So, plasma donating will help you lose weight via fluid loss, temporarily.  Plasma is quickly replaced, and you get to keep your weight and muscle. But in the long term, blood or plasma donation will not work if you want to lose weight. If you hydrate properly after donating plasma, your body will replace any fluids they took within 48 hours.

You might feel tired or dizzy after a donation, but your weight will not change. Donating blood products won't much influence weight gain or loss, but you can help save lives by doing it. Do NOT donate plasma to help with weight loss or gain, but rather, donate to help others.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Donating Plasma Before or After Surgery

Q: Can I donate plasma after having shoulder surgery? I ask because the surgical procedure (which fixed the rotary cuff and gave me mobility in my arm again) was also very expensive, with a long painful recovery period. It took me about 3 weeks - 1 month to fully recover without pain, and take the cast off. I was also put under local anesthetic (IV injection, not gas) during the surgery.

My husband, who served as an Army vet, would also like to know if you can donate plasma after extensive surgery. He had an injury on his foot, ankle joints, knees and hands, and also had to undergo surgery to reattach his clavicle bone and fix a shattered elbow. He has to surgery in the future to remove a large cataract on his retina causing Macular degeneration (which is unrelated to his other wounds/surgeries.) He traveled abroad to foreign countries for the Army, most of his surgery and blood transfusions were done in Europe. Can either of us donate plasma since we're both a qualified "medical mess?"

I recall my mother having hip replacement 20 years ago, and carpal tunnel surgery more recently, but she was never rejected from donating blood. Thank you for your reply.

A: First of all, thank you to your husband for serving as an Army Veteran. To answer your question: yes, you can donate plasma after shoulder surgery, depending on how long in the past your surgery was done. If you had a blood transfusion during surgery, you are disqualified from plasma donating for 12 months after the transfusion (due to the risk of blood transmitted viruses and diseases.) If you had surgery over a year ago, you qualify to donate plasma again with no risk. Having local or general anesthetic applied doesn't disqualify you from donating - it only depends if you've had a blood transfusion or loss of blood during surgery.

For your husband, whether or not he can donate plasma  is more complicated. If he had blood transfusions abroad in a foreign country (any parts of Europe - France, the UK, or Germany) or even Africa due to his surgeries, he is disqualified  from donating for life. If he did not have a blood transfusion for any of his extensive surgeries, he may be eligible to donate plasma again.

It doesn't matter whether he donates plasma before cataract surgery - but for health reasons it's recommended to wait for 4 weeks before and after surgical procedures to donate plasma.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Does Blood Type Affect Plasma Donation?

Q: Can I Donate Plasma With My Blood Type?

Answer: Yes, all blood types, including A, B, AB, and O types can donate plasma without getting rejected. Blood types are blood types, and not plasma types, and so don't affect who can give/receive plasma donations. Your blood plasma is mostly water (over 90 percent water) and doesn't have protein antigens which make the plasma incompatible with someone else's plasma.

What is My Blood Type?

Human blood types or blood groups are classed as the following: A, O, AB, and B. Type O blood is the most common blood type, with over 30 percent of the population being type O. AB is the rarest, with less than 3 percent of the population having type AB blood. Blood types are classified by protein antigens which coat the red blood cells.

Can I Donate With Rh Positive/Negative Blood?

Yes, both Rh positive and Rh negative factor donors can give blood plasma. Rh (rhesus factor) in blood doesn't cross over to blood plasma.

Will I Make More Money Donating Plasma if I Have a Rare Blood Type?

Even though AB blood type donors have a blood type compatible with only 3 percent of the population, their rare blood type doesn't mean they make more money for plasma donating. And common blood types, like type O blood, make the same amount donating as rare blood types. In other words, all types of blood get the same compensation amount. **

** If you have other blood abnormalities, like high white blood cell count, or sickle cell anemia, the plasma center will make more money from studying your blood and creating medications. However, you the donor, usually won't know, or even be compensated more money for different blood types/blood abnormalities.

Monday, May 27, 2013

How to Donate Plasma for Money

Paid donors can donate plasma for money more often than blood donors. There are more than 300 plasma centers in the United States, so it is highly likely there is one either in or around your hometown. 

Finding your local plasma center is as easy as typing in your zip code into a search engine. You can type in the city and limit the radius of the results from more than 300 plasma collection centers in the United States. You can narrow your search to IQPP-certified plasma collection center for plasma donations, or search all centers.

Licensed Donation Centers

You can find licensed plasma donation centers through ads on the web or in the yellow pages. In addition, try doing a search for "donate plasma money" or something like that to locate the center nearest you.

But, before you do anything else, type in your zip code and find out if there is a plasma center near you. Using the handy link above, you should know where your local plasma center is and have their phone number.

Find a Plasma Donation Center Near You

How to donate plasma for money: you will first need to find a plasma donation center in your area. Most often, paying plasma donation centers are located in urban areas, where they can attract a lot of donors.

One of the largest plasma centers in the U.S. is Twin Cities ZLB Plasma Center: they have one lab in Minneapolis, the other in St. Louis. ZLB Plasma also has two locations in San Antonio; call to find out the current cash prizes.

In Georgia, you can donate plasma at one of the highest rated plasma centers in the country: ADMA BioCenters located at 6290 Jimmy Carter Blvd, Suite 208, Norcross, GA 30071st

Learn plasma center regulations before you go 

On your first visit to the plasma center, you will have to fill a big pile of paperwork to fill out. Some plasma centers make you donate a few times before they will begin to pay, and some even encourage a free donation and do not want to pay at all. If not, it's good to know that now before you go and get all excited about plasma donating for money.

I do not know if the South Texas Blood & Tissue services paid for plasma donations, but they have several donation locations throughout the city where I live. We also have local Biolife Plasma Center where you pay something like $ 200 to $ 300 a month to donate plasma twice a week.

The best thing you can do to figure out how much you'll get for donation of plasma is to call your local plasma center and ask them that question. Plasma donors should contact donations for specific donation guidelines. Each plasma center is different, and they have different models of operation.

Keep in mind that these are generally accepted guidelines, although any given a plasma center may have slightly different requirements.

Learn What Happens During Plasma Donation

Paid plasma donation is the same as any other automated process of donating. Plasma is essentially the liquid part of blood, and has a yellowish color. Since you're plasma donating (only a portion of the blood), the process involves several cycles.

Portions of the blood and plasma are directed into the plasma collection bottle. Plasma machines then separate the plasma collection and return non-plasma portions of the blood to the plasma donors.

People in the plasma center can look like people connected to The Matrix: people are physically attached to the machine pods that milk them for their very life blood.

How is my plasma donation used?

When you donate plasma for money, the center will inform you that your plasma can be used for many purposes. You do not retain any control over how your plasma is used. Bhatt explained that the body uses plasma for immunity.

One liter of plasma produces about four grams of immunoglobulin, which is used to create a treatment for people with immune deficiencies. Since it helps in blood clotting, plasma is used to help hemophiliacs and other people who experience coagulation problems. Plasma is a necessary ingredient in many treatments for people with diseases such as hemophilia. Plasma products are also used to help burn victims.

In addition, plasma is valuable in medical research, helping to create treatments for diseases that affect the immune system, such as hepatitis. It takes a large amount of plasma to provide life-saving therapy for one patient per year. Not only do you help people around the world by plasma donating, but most donations centers also pay you for your donation.

Reasons to donate plasma for cash

  • Donating plasma is safer than donating blood. Plasma regenerates faster you can donate after just one day of rest.
  • Giving plasma is simple and usually painless.
  • Donating plasma is like donating long strands of hair to natural wigs. Plasma, just like hair, a part of your body, will grow back without repercussions.
  • Medical experts say plasma donating is safe for healthy adults, and carries a small risk, because it is quickly filled in the body, usually within 24 hours or less.
  • Make extra money in college. While plasma donation facilities have the stigma as a place for low and oppressed society members, many students also use the plasma center. College towns are popular locations for plasma centers, with up to two-thirds of the plasma centers located in cities with universities. One cable company, Biolife Plasma Services, reported that, in some places, students make up 60 percent of its donor base. I even had three college roommates who went to the plasma center once a week together.

How Is Plasma Donation Different from Blood Donation?

 Although there are several ways to identify your local plasma center, the easiest and most legitimate website I've found is Donating plasma. From what I've been able to gather on their website, plasma donation is different from donating blood.

Donating plasma for money more involved than donating blood. Regular users of the local center could give plasma nearly 100 times a year, while blood donors are limited to 4 times a year. Your body regenerates plasma much faster than blood, hence why can donate plasma twice a week.

Should I donate my plasma for money? Is it safe?

Now, you can not expect to make a career out of plasma donating for money, but if we are talking about the use of plasma to earn some extra money on the side, it really is not feasible to spend half a day driving to the local plasma center, waiting all day, and plasma donating, all for $ 20 right?

On the other side of the story, hearing the testimony of their experiences donated plasma for money, a quick google search is good for anyone who is considering the idea. I personally would recommend to give blood over plasma, but both are worthy of donations.

While donation may work great for some, it is not a viable option for everyone. Do not donate plasma before first consulting with your doctor to identify any potential health risks of donating. The good thing about plasma donating for money is an odd kind of community develops at the donation site because the same staff and donors tend to be present.
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