Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Speed Up Plasma Donation


Speed up plasma donation, a process that normally takes 45-90 minutes. You can make plasma donation go faster by following these simple steps: drink up to 16 oz of water, pump your hand, and take a spoonful of (what's that now?) vegetable oil!

Drink More Water for Faster Donation: Water makes up 90% of blood plasma. The other 10% of plasma is proteins and hemoglobin. Water, when taken in excess, makes plasma donation faster by thinning the blood (specifically the plasma.) Think of red blood cells as balloons slip-sliding all over each other, with plasma being the lubricant that moves and supports them. When you drink more water, the balloons have less friction, and therefore flow faster.

How much Water for Plasma Donation?


Never drink more than 8 glasses of water a day, or more than 64 oz (which is what the FDA recommends.) Why does the FDA recommend 64 oz of water? Because excessive water intake can actually dilute vital nutrients in the blood, like iron and protein. Plasma donation centers check both protein and iron nutrients, and will quickly reject plasma donors for low blood levels.

Don't dilute your iron or protein, and risk a rejection. 64 oz (or 4 Nestle Pur Life water bottles) a day is all most healthy adults need for kidney function, and slippery plasma. Drink 4 water bottles the day before, and one water bottle before plasma donation, along with an iron pill. This will make plasma donation go faster - you'll take a rapid 45 minutes in the donation chair instead of the full 90 minutes.

Pump Your Hand for Faster Plasma Times

This plasma donation step is something even veteran donors forget. When the phlebotomist asks if you want a squeezy toy during donation, they're not just being polite. Squeezing a stress ball/squeezy toy, or pumping your hand during donation, makes the blood in your arm veins flow faster.

If you don't pump your hand at all, the blood in your arm veins or donation tube will congeal, blocking the plasma flow. You'll then get a nice red light and a beeping plasmapheresis machine, which will make the phlebotomists come running. When a blockage happens, the assistants must quickly get the blood flowing again. If they can't, the donor risks blood getting stuck in the plasmapheresis machine, with a 6 month donation deferral to boot.

So, squeeze your fist (or ask for a stress ball to squeeze) and watch your plasma donation times speed up rapidly.

Take a Spoonful of Vegetable/Olive Oil for Plasma Donation



Taking a spoonful vegetable or olive oil for plasma donation sounds strange, but it's done wonders to make my own plasma donation times more rapid. It used to take me an hour to donate plasma, but now it takes me a quick 45 minutes or under to donate.

Why? Imagine the balloon example again, with the red blood cells being balloons. If water is a good plasma lubricant for blood cells, then cooking oils like vegetable or olive oils are even better.

Don't take this as excuse to guzzle the vegetable oil, though. A large spoonful is usually enough to cleanse the veins, and make plasma donation go faster. Extra virgin olive oil is even better, since a spoonful of (uncooked) vegetable oil a day has added unsaturated fat benefits of heart health.

Extra note on fats: Saturated fats, like the ones in your cheeseburger, actually clog the blood vessels, making plasma donation slower. A common plasma deferral/rejection reason is slow plasma flow, due to eating too much saturated fat. While olive oil (and avocado, and peanuts - all unsaturated fats) make plasma flow faster, saturated fats make plasma thicker, and slower flowing. So, skip the ice cream, cheese burgers, and french fries the day before donation, and take unsaturated fats to donate faster.

Finally, don't donate plasma with high blood pressure. If your pulse is higher than normal, the plasma donation will make you sit in the waiting lobby for an extra 5-10 minutes, adding to your donation time. If, after your wait in the lobby, your pulse stays high, you will be rejected for high blood pressure.

These are tips to donate plasma faster. So relax, drink your water, pump your squeezy, and drink a tablespoon of vein-cleansing vegetable oil to speed up plasma donation times.

60 comments:

  1. You aren't clear. Is vegetable oil or olive oil best?

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    1. Extra virgin olive oil is best.

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    2. The article states "Extra virgin olive oil is even better". Very hard to miss if you were paying attention.

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    3. The author doesn't understand science. Oil doesn't just "magically" go into your veins and make things "slippery". And it is a terrible idea to limit water intake to four 12oz bottles a day, PARTICULARLY if you are donating plasma. You aren't going to magically overdose on water unless you're trying to go for a world record on chugging it. Your kidneys do a fantastic job of removing excess water. Please get your info somewhere that offers safe advice.

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    4. Yeah seriously I easily drink over 100 fluid ounces of water a day.

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    5. I drank 4 32oz bottles of water the nite before donation and a 32oz bottle of powerade the day of donation. I was rejected because of low iron. I believe if you drink too the author who said if you drink too much water you will have low blood. I wish I had read this sooner.

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    6. It's true that if you overdo the water it will dilute your blood a bit, but not significantly. For instance, I almost always run the same hematocrit level, and if I drink a TON of water the day of, it'll go down a point. If I drink a ton the day before, it does absolutely nothing.

      All I drink is water and I drink a lot of it. My donations run around 30 minutes.

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    7. Also, I have seen zero difference in donating time between when I have some oil and not. Your blood doesn't get "slippery" from oil >.<

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    8. He said 64oz not 48,everyone's a know it all. Then right your own article. Don't be a article troll

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    9. It's always been known that unsaturated fats reduces risk of clogging, therefore, they do make it slippery. Ask a doctor, that's why they say heart healthy. If you're donations aren't any faster, there are other factors.

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    10. How about coconut oil?

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    11. I stopped reading at "Never drink more than 8 glasses of water a day, or more than 64 oz (which is what the FDA recommends.) ." The reason is because you lost credibility. There is no universal amount of water to drink. That is saying a 100 pound person and a 500 person require the same amount of water. If that is what the FDA recommends, than they do not know what they are doing.

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  2. I have high iron all the time. i herd high iron will slow the process, is that true?

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    1. Yes that's true

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    2. If you have high iron ur dehydrated most likely

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  3. How long before donating should you take the olive oil?

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    1. Hoping that you take the olive oil orally, it takes the body about 15 to 20 minutes (times may vary) to "digest" liquids, so by the time the oil gets to the upper intestine to be picked up by the blood, 30 to 45 minutes may have elapsed (again, times may vary). It is also important not to picture that the inside of your body is going to become a slip and slide, as the oil will take a bit of time to go from your mouth, stomach, intestine, blood and then travel to the site of injection. Given this scenario, taking the oil anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes prior your donation should make a difference in the time it takes to complete the donation. Also remember that oil is somewhat hydrophobic at room temperature, but once its inside your body it gets "warmer" because of your own body heat, and I am not 100% if its hydrophobic properties change.

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  4. How long before donating should you take the olive oil?

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    1. Hoping that you take the olive oil orally, it takes the body about 15 to 20 minutes (times may vary) to "digest" liquids, so by the time the oil gets to the upper intestine to be picked up by the blood, 30 to 45 minutes may have elapsed (again, times may vary). It is also important not to picture that the inside of your body is going to become a slip and slide, as the oil will take a bit of time to go from your mouth, stomach, intestine, blood and then travel to the site of injection. Given this scenario, taking the oil anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes prior your donation should make a difference in the time it takes to complete the donation. Also remember that oil is somewhat hydrophobic at room temperature, but once its inside your body it gets "warmer" because of your own body heat, and I am not 100% if its hydrophobic properties change.

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  5. If your iron is too high, you won't be able to donate at all.

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  6. do you take the vegatable oil that night or that mornin

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    1. Hoping that you take the olive oil orally, it takes the body about 15 to 20 minutes (times may vary) to "digest" liquids, so by the time the oil gets to the upper intestine to be picked up by the blood, 30 to 45 minutes may have elapsed (again, times may vary). It is also important not to picture that the inside of your body is going to become a slip and slide, as the oil will take a bit of time to go from your mouth, stomach, intestine, blood and then travel to the site of injection. Given this scenario, taking the oil anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes prior your donation should make a difference in the time it takes to complete the donation. Also remember that oil is somewhat hydrophobic at room temperature, but once its inside your body it gets "warmer" because of your own body heat, and I am not 100% if its hydrophobic properties change.

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  7. Can u take extra virgin coconut oil instead of olive oil.

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  8. Coconut oil has a lot of unsaturated fats. Olive oil is way better. All in all remember to pump your hand when the machine is in donation mode and not return mode. Pumping your hand in return mode runs you a risk of blowing out your vein and pushing the needle out your arm. Happy donating everyone.

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  9. I love it when people ask medical questions of people who are on the internet. I also love it when people answer as thou they are medical personal. Love the internet. It rocks

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    1. At first your comment about the medical questions of people on the internet were a little funny but seems a little harsh. It really can help asking others because not all medical personnel (by the way it's not personal) have the best advice. People are human not science projects where you can control the variable. Everyone is different and it is good to hear from other strange comments that may or may not be helpful. And who knows, you may be getting advice from a Dr. without a bill! So thank you to all those that post about their own personal triumphs. :) I have always been one of the fastest donors pumping 825 out in approx. 27-30 mins including the saline, but for the first time my iron was high at 54 and it took much longer (42 mins) I drink coffee on an every day basis and am dieting so i do not incorporate too many fats in my diet. It appears to me, (although i am NOT a Dr.) that the lower your iron the faster you will donate with the exception of it being too low and getting rejected. I drink a minimal amount of water because I already have big veins and water does not seem to play a role in my personal donating experience. Thin blood seems to be the key to a speedy donation. Maybe aspirin could aid you or even ginseng. But it took longer when my iron was surprisingly higher. Each person is different though, so feel free to try the tsp. of fat trick, but clogging the needle should be a concern if you do and doesn't seem too logical. Plus, who wants to add on any extra fat. (not knocking the idea, just doesn't sound as easy as drinking coffee). And for some reason, coffee drinking works for me to be the fastest donor but if you don't consume enough water then it just defeats the purpose. And for the record, I squeeze a small size 'pill' squeezy once every 5 seconds and still donate faster than those that pump as if they had been practicing all their life ;) Good luck, but lower iron helps as long as you can keep it above the minimum.

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    2. Here is my two cents worth. I ate alot of baked fish and greens, drank water, and took a high potency muti vitamin/ multi mineral that included iron. I also took 1 full strength asperin per day for a week before to the morning of my donation. It took 25 minutes. Got up got paid and went home. The only problem is that the kiosk cant seem to get a good read of my fingerprint for identity verification.

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  10. Inject extra virgin olive oil directly into your rectum for best results or regular olive oil if your rectum is not a virgin

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    1. Shoot. All I have is the extra virgin olive oil. Guess I just won't donate altogether.

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    2. This works, I've tried it. You need at least 4oz of oil and it's best to have a partner help as you'll need to be on your knees with your head down and butt raised so gravity can assist. Also, it helps to have your partner pound the oil in as far as it will go. Be sure to saturate the entire colon.

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  11. ...and if you happen to be brain-dead, vegetable oil is okay!

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  12. I think you're just really slow at donating. I could eat some burgers the day before and the morning of donating and take 50 minutes at most. But drinking lots of water the day before speeds it up to like 30-35 minutes. I'll have to try the oil though. And obviously I pump my fist the whole time it's drawing.

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  13. How do I make it easier for them to find my vein??

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    1. Generally speaking, being hydrated and having a lower body fat percentage increase vascularity (visibility of veins). Depends on the person though.

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    2. Not so...I'm a big woman and I have easy veins. Trick is being hydrated. My longest draw time was 33 minutes. My shortest 25.

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    3. wanna go out for a date ERICA?

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    4. Hydration is the key. I'm a phlebotomist at a local plasma clinic. We get all shapes an sizes and that doesn't matter but keeping hydrated makes a big difference.

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  14. I can't get the bottle full when I donate they told me I should stop donating because it might be because of I have thin vai,how truthful is that?

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    1. you are likely to be bone dry of blood within 5 years.

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    2. i weigh 682 pounds and only eat Big Macs. If i donate it take me 4 hours, 25 minutes, and 23 seconds every single time. I LOVE MCDONALD'S and my fat lard ass.

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    3. I actually work as a phlebotomist at a plasma center. Smaller veins can't hold up to the 16-18 gauge needles used very well, and can occasionally result in the vein collapsing, which makes it impossible to finish a donation. My best recommendation would be to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day at a minimum, and do a bunch of arm excercises. That may increase your vein size just enough to successfully donate.

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  15. If I drank a small cup of coffee 5 hours before I donate will that affect me

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    1. Drinking coffee increases your pulse--it does me and I only drink water that morning, afterwards you can treat yourself. My pulse goes over 100 by just seeing the machines and my pulse rate soars-from the sight, stay away from caffeine-they will refuse you over 100 bpm!

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  16. I seem to have chronicly high hematocrit levels. I am regularly denied donating due to hematocrit levels above 54%, which is the man's limit for donating. I drink over a gallon of water per day, so I'm pretty sure hydration isn't the issue. I have tried taking aspirin, but that doesn't seem to help. I always eat a low fat high protein diet. I take very strong opioid pain medication, and 5mg of Valium twice a day. All the research I've done indicates that the medication shouldn't affect hematocrit levels. So, I'm left believing that it's just my metabolism that causes my higher than normal hematocrit levels. I wouldn't care at all, but I really need the money.

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    1. Eat a cup of soup with 2 boiled eggs. Also try a lemon with a V8

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    2. It could be your high protein diet, when they check your hemocratic levels they are checking your protein levels if too high or too low they won't allow you to donate. I would limit your protein intake two days or at least the day before you go to donate to see if that helps. If you try lowering your intake of protein and go to donate let me know how it goes, I'm curious because over all it sounds as if your healthy and take care of your body.

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  17. How often can you donate before it becomes unsafe?should there be like a break period,so you don't harm yourself

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  18. How often can you donate before it becomes unsafe?should there be like a break period,so you don't harm yourself

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    1. My phlebotemist told me every 6 months, take a 1-2 month break to help your body recover. Not sure if it's true or not.

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  19. I've been donating for a few months now. Everytime I go in there, I'm dehydrated, according to the people who stick me. For the last few donations, I've drank NOTHING BUT WATER, and yet I was even MORE dehydrated than I was before. What is the issue?

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  20. The vegetable oil literally took my donation from 1hr 30 mins to 45 mins!

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  21. For ladies, make sure to never donate right after nor during your menstruation cycle as I've seen women get very weak to the point of passing out from blood/plasma loss. Just a warning to female donors. It's best to be safe or else, you may wind up sorry. Also, raw or smoked oysters are packed with iron. If combined with Vitamin C, your iron levels will dramatically increase. This helps anyone with Anemia. I combine smoked oysters, steamed broccoli, and lemon juice (100% real lemon) to make a power-packed, nutritional snack anytime for my own health regimen. It fills me with energy and iron. I hope this helps. Take great care of yourself!

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  22. If I smoke crack can I still donate? Got to support my habir

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  23. As a matter of fact, you should be drinking 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.

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  24. I donate about 4-6 a month since Aug. 2015. At first my donations took 45- hour, the 1st one was actually 1:30 because they say they start the machine on lower function for first 2 donations. But for the first 4 months I couldn't seem to get regular flow it was always low "orange light"..since I'm a medical laboratory student I decided to figure out why....#1 circulation- slow circulation longer donation, fat %- clogs filter on machine slowing donation, fluid/electrolyte balance- low fluids "thicker" blood slows donation process. How I got down to 22 mins - stayed on green light? Night before I eat small portion baked fish or chicken breast with a huge salad and pop a multi vitamin& 50mg niacin before bed. 2 hrs prior to donating 30 mins of light cardio and 1 20oz bottle water each hour..then whaaalah! I'm 5'7 185lbs athletic build...works for me.

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  25. Actually drinking more water can help with weight-loss. Should always be careful with it though, 64 Oz is amount the human body needs, however more than that isn't bad. I try to intake 3.5 - 4 liters a day maximum, minimum intake is normally 2 liters. I'm losing weight steadily and feel more happy everyday. Also my donation times run no more than 35-40 minutes

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