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.

22 comments:

  1. There are no studies that say donating plasma long term is bad for you in any way, in fact there are a few that state the contrary. There are studies that show a significantly reduced chance for heart attack/stroke. I am saddened by the fact that you would advise people not to donate even when healthy, there are so many people in the U.S. That need transfusions, people in your community even. People everywhere rely on donors to get lifesaving transfusions and treatments, without people caring enough to donate many people would die, shame on you.

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    1. They pay a small fee such as $25 or $45 per 880 ml donation so it's a way for the unlucky (under employed) to earn a few badly needed dollars. Considering that each bottle is worth like $500, they could feed or give donors a food voucher (they do $5 food vouchers on federal holiday donations!!!) so they can immediately start gaining back proteins and strength without spending half the donation fee on recovery to be fair about it. Since the built up excess reserve of labor, (ie. under employed) are fair game to be further exploited in our system of ruthless capitalism and these are foreign corporations we're talking about that collect and distribute, it really should bring ethics into question.

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    2. SOOOO TRUE. The system makes me sick.

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    3. I'm a person who is lucky enough to have a strong immune system. I get sick about once every 5 years. I recently became unemployed, so I started donating plasma. I've donated twice a week for the past 3 months and I've gotten 3 colds since. They only last one or 2 days and I'm healthy again by the time my next donation date rolls around, but this is no coincidence. Of course my immune system is beong diminished due to my lack of plasma. Having said that, I will continue to donate as long as I need the money. And I see no shame in the person telling the truth about the risks of plasma donation. Shame on you for shaming the honest truth.

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    4. Just an FYI, Correlation does not equal causation.

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    5. meh argumentative. Correlation doesn't EQUAL causation but its a still evidence and logical to conclude a possibly direct relationship. We wouldn't have science if we needed absolutes.

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    6. There is a study that concluded a slightly increased colon cancer risk because of plasmapheresis..look it up on Pubmed. Its the process itself that increases the risk and over a very long period of time. Its such a slight increase that it doesn't warrant much consideration..doing ANYthing or nothing at all increases cancer risks. various cancers are ALWAYS attacking our bodies we just normally kill them off without even getting sick.

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  2. Wow, learned a lot here, never knew i was getting so hosed for my donations. But at least i do know its actually helping people.

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  3. How long do I have to wait after taking Nyquil can I donate plasma?

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  4. Even though it's been said you shouldn't donate until you feel healthy, you could donate the next day assuming you took alcohol free NyQuil... idk how much of an impact the one with alcohol would do but you are'nt supposed to donate within 24 hours after consuming alcohol.

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  5. If you ate 2 slices of pizza around 2pm and Campbell's soup around 7 pm could you donate plasma tomorrow ?

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    1. It depends how much fat was is the food, I ate tacos the night before donating and got deferred for a day because my plasma had to much fat cells making it cloudy

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  6. So, short answer. Yes you can donate. Fuck it, so you'll be sick for longer. Who cares?
    I've been donating with the same lingering cold for weeks now.
    Let's be honest, once we're to the point of having to sell our body parts for cash, we're not gonna be healthy or happy anyway. Get paid. And don't waste that shot on otc drugs, they'll just prevent you from being able to donate later. Smoke some weed, have a couple shots, pass out, wake up, and go back to work. This is America.

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    1. I concur with this statement whole heartedly. Just pop some Advil if you have a fever so you fall within range...We are selling our blood for money, obviously we're not working with these magical other options the author talks about in this piece.

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    2. LOL the nihilism..Its hilarious i love this comment..but no you cant give up on your health just because your making a career of being a plasma donor..actually the opposite that career means you will have to be conscious of your diet and health and especially hydration...just try to avoid donating when sick..and don't even do it if you have a fever or have just had diarrhea(i don't imagine anyone in their right mind going ANYWHERE while they currently have it) anything that means your already gonna be super dehydrated..I've donated while sick it and its didn't seem to make a difference nor did i die..but it is definitely taking a risk of making yourself sicker perhaps dangerously ill. Actually now Im looking for answers about going while recovering forma severe cold..becuase..before I went while I was in the onset of a cold..but this time Im recovering i think there could be a difference..I mean..before I gave away dumb cells that didnt yet know how to kill the bug..it was just a material loss..but if I give these guys away now could I possibly giving away the technology that they discovered to kill this bug?? Basically inviting myself to get sick all over again like its a new bug lol..the shit I imagine.

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  7. I've donated for months and never gotten sick. Donating won't get you sick. This clown probably thinks the flu shot is secretly killing us off as some sort of population control. Look. If you're sick, yeah, don't donate the stuff you need to get well. If you're well, donating plasma doesn't turn you into some sort of temporary AIDS victim. That ridiculous! If that was so, what about donating blood? Your plasma is in that blood. So, when you donate blood, do you get sick? No.
    Use common sense. If you're sick, YOU need that plasma. If you're well, it's just as safe as giving blood.

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    1. You only donated a few months..you are not an authority..and actually since you mentioned it a friend of mine that also has been donating for years did come down with a condition that pretty much acted upon his skin like a temporary aids victim. I'm not saying it could happen to everyone and he did recover and not get deferred (he does not have HIV) but his immune system had been temporarily compromised to the point his skin looked really fucked up..also there are studies that indicate long term risks associated with plasmapheresis..but the studies are not so conclusive or detrimental that it poses a significant or certain risk..or even warrants much further study..it is related to damage of the cells that are being forcefully separated and then put back in your body. Its basically produces trace amount of toxic material that winds up in your liver. The finding was that this over significant long term can produce a slight increased cancer risk. The study is on Pubmed under plasmapheresis anyone can see it and its conclusions.

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  8. I donated once and got sick the next day with a cold.

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  9. I've been scouring the internet looking for someone who can answer or at least relate to my situation. I just started donating looking for extra money, donated the first time a week ago, didn't really hydrate myself as well as I thought and had horrible kidney pain the next day drank a gallon of water and ate more than normal and donated for a second time 3 days ago. And this time I ate and drank even more than before I donated for the first time. the next day I had a scratchy throat and a little muscle pain. Today 3 days later I have a 100.4 fever, I can barely walk due to my muscles hurting so badly and I am normally a VERY healthy person, I get sick rarely. This isn't normal and maybe some people just can't donate as it is way too hard on their bodies. I will not be donating again, the money is not worth my health. Those that have no problems, good for you. Those that do have problems donating, I feel you. No sense in getting pissed off at others for knowing their bodies so well that they know when something isn't right with their bodies and taking precautions to stay healthy regardless if they are losing money. The money isn't that great anyway. From my research the US is the only country that allows donations more than once a week, and from what I have read as well, to stay healthy one should only donate every 28 days and on top of that most hospitals and such that use plasma will not use it from a facility that compensates it's donors.. definitely worth looking into for the little money they give for it. Just my thoughts. not looking for criticism just looking for someone who knows how to be open minded about issues that can arise with plasma donating regardless of what the "facility" tells you.

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  10. I've gotten sick as well. I haven't got sick in over 5 yes. Until I donated my plasma.

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  11. Here in New Zealand, there is no payment for donations. We donate for the community good I guess.
    Donors are generally responsible and healthy so I'm thinking the resulting product is good. I have never felt the slightest ill effect but do wonder if there could be long term issues. But hey, it is so essential for our hospitals and saves lives. ps - We don't pay for hospital treatment either.

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