Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Lower Your Heart Rate to Donate Plasma

Having a high heart rate causes over 90% of plasma donation deferrals. If your blood pressure rate is higher than 85/15, you will be deferred from donating plasma for the rest of the day. When you run to the center because your car broke down, or you can't stop thinking about that horror movie you saw last night, your heart rate rises.

Here's how to lower your heart rate to donate plasma:
  1. Leave your stress at the door. Stress creates high blood pressure. High blood pressure makes your heart beat fast. Before going into the plasma center, focus yourself. Forget about your stress, marriage, job, money troubles - just concentrate on donating plasma. Then walk in.
  2. Wait 15 minutes before going back to the testing center. Sit in the little plastic chair a while. Watch some grainy TV. Listen to donors get called. You'll be more relaxed, and your heart rate will slow down.
  3. Breathe deeply while you're waiting to be tested. Do this while you're waiting to be called back. Breathing deeply is a great relaxation technique.
  4. IMPORTANT: breathe deeply while the pressure cuff is on your arm. Breathe in. Wait. Breathe out. Wait. Breathe deeply and slowly. Your heart rate will fall to a good level for donation.
  5. Optional: think happy, relaxing thoughts while your blood pressure is being tested. Combine happy, relaxing thoughts with your breathing techniques.
  6. Relax your arm during testing. Think wispy willow, not sturdy tree trunk. I can't tell you how many donors didn't pass the heart rate test because their arm was too stiff. When you stiffen your arm, you put more pressure against the blood measuring cuff, and the test reads the heart rate higher.

 What Happens if I Fail the Heart Rate Test?

If you fail the blood pressure/heart rate test, you get to wait 15 minutes, and test again. If you fail the test the first time, breathe deeply, relax your body, and think relaxing thoughts before re-testing. If you fail the blood pressure test twice, you are deferred from donating for one day. You have to wait for another day to donate.

I've been donating plasma for 25 years. I use the techniques above, I've never been rejected because the donation center says my heart rate is too high. Just relax, breathe deep, and think about not having to get your finger pricked again tomorrow.

32 comments:

  1. You have your blood pressure noted at 85/15. I'm sure that's a typo.

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    Replies
    1. its 180/100, this is correct answer

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      Delete
  2. Biotest doesn't let you wait and retest.

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    Replies
    1. My sister goes, and she said sometimes they make you sit somewhere and calm down, she said this income brings in $400 month, she gets $50 twice a week, and one time they gave her $80 for one sitting as a bonus, because she comes so much.

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    2. also, I was told if blood pressure cuff is to tight around your arm, to make sure its large enough for your arm... your BP will say its to high, they look at iron levels also.

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    3. Why isn't biotest in valdosta following this 15 min waiting rule they just sends you home soon you fail the first time.

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  3. I have used the simple breathing techniques, sometimes it works, and other times it doesn't. I was deferred at 2 locations, one for having high blood pressure, pulse was too high, they gave me a paper for my Doctor to sign, stating my blood pressure and pulse is high, and its ok for me to donate plasma. The other location said one of my proteins was too high, they gave me a paper to get the protein checked, and stating its ok for me to donate. I did ask my doctor back in january-2014 to sign the paperwork, stating its ok for me to donate at the usual donor center where I do and donate at, CSL, on fredericksburg rd, in san antonio, TX. Where as at Biomat, Downtown san antonio, I didn't return to. My DR has me on blood pressure, and cholesterol, iron pills, and Vitamin D3, 1000 IU, I rather use the Nutribullet, seems its a better use to cure anyone of their Ailments. I have been taking my pills for about 2 yrs now, I have a blood pressure, pulse monitor which i use every day, I probably will til I pass away. It shows how well I'm doing daily, plus I have Asthma, I have to use my albuterol as needed. The donor center knows my medicines I take frequently, though one can't donate and do a drug study at the same time. I have been donating off/on since Oct/81,I am tired of donating, I know it helps many others to get feeling better, and overall helps the said Community out. I will say it helps to ask if the person cuffing you will loosen it up a bit, it doesn't have to be that tight. I use my monitor regularly, its usually snug, not tight when i use it. I believe in using vitamins, and supplementation, Coconut oil, flax seed oil, protein powders. Thers's always a cure for everything, I'm 57, I know the routine on donating.

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  4. I have been deferred numerous of times for my heart rate being over 100. They have me sit in the waiting area for 15 minutes. As I'm waiting I will take deep breathes, slow breathes, go to the restroom and take a deep breathe and plug my nose for 5 seconds. I have tried everything and it is still over 100. My blood pressure is great and protein is good. I just don't get it. And it's not like I'm nervous to donate. HELP!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Your probably anxious because you get defferd often. I have the same problem and nothing helps lower my heart rate other then leaving the donation. My heart rate was 138 one time the second test was 140. I left the donation center and tested my heart rate 5 minute late and it was 96. The screening process don't take a person mental state into account.

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    2. You are right about that

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    3. I think you're right thru make us anxious and the hemoglobin prickly I hate. One girl does it while taking my blood preasure so heart rate just boom goes up.

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  5. Yes i have the same problem

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  6. I just got home after being deffered for my numbers being too high. The first time i failed, they sent me back to the lobby to wait. The possibility of failing again naturally made me nervous, which made it higher. Now i'm going back tomorrow, and i just know i'm going to do it again. I told them the cuff felt to small. They didn't seem to care. I've already donated a month ago with no problems.

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  7. Same here brotha I feel like since I failed once thats all I think about and it stresses me out and my thing says 115-120

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  8. This is ridiculous. My pulse rate was 105. In the real world it is not considered high. I was deferred one day. Let's see if it goes down tomorrow. I will tell the person to loosen the cuff as it was uncomfortable.

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  9. It's true about the blood pressure cuff they have a bigger size cuff but they always like the cuff tight on you and don't mess with the cuff they get mad well making 350 dollars or more and paying between two times a week we get 40 dallies like your some scum to donate for money.

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  10. I have the same issue. Bp use to be high. I got it controlled now through meds. Heart rate has been over a hundred. It's my nerves. And waiting in line. When I take a Xanax has been helping me. Latley. But it's hard to get. All I can say is stay calm. Think happy thoughts. And breath

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  11. BP 85/15? Wouldn't you be dead?

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  12. Plasma center deferred me 8 times in the last two months. I nevr had a high heart rate for a year before this. They got new cuffs and ever since I have been sent home. The second reading even higher than the first. I was so concerned I went to the hospital and had all kinds of tests and my highest heart rate in the hospital was 70. Why is it high at the plasma center?

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  14. Believe it or not there is an actual goal for donating plasma and not its not for the money. It goes to save lives not to fund your drinking habits or need for gas for the week. There's a reason for the guidelines and limitations. High pulse rate isn't normal! 105 pulse rate!! Really??? If that's normal "in the real world" then geez we're all screwed! Normal pulse rate is between 60 to 67. That is a normal healthy rate. If your pylse is consistently high and stress or nerves isn't an issue then I suggest you get tested for anxiety/stress because something is causing it. Also the BP cuff has guides on it to ensure proper fit, you can not just pick which one fits you best because you feel like it...smh morons. Normal BP "in the real world" is 120/80 and pulse is 60-67. Anything outside of those ranges could mean other serious underlying health/heart issues or just the anxiety from knowing you are about to wait in this line to donate. Although you dont have to have the perfect 120/80 BP or 60-67 pulse rate to donate, there are limitations to meet the "state" requirements for your plasma to be used for the real purpose of collecting it.

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    Replies
    1. There always has to be a triggered wannabe professional in a chat. We are so glad to hear that you've never been financially in trouble and that you completely forfeit your compensation for donating because "its not why we you are there". Don't come in here calling people morons when they are just trying to educate themselves.

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    2. Hey there Anonymous. Do you donate your time and plasma and tell the plasma donation center to keep the money because you don't need or want the money? That is admirable that you donate plasma simply to save the life of another human being. So, just to verify you're donating your time and plasma for free. Correct? While you re giving plasma to save lives the rest of us losers are giving our time and plasma donations so we can put gas in our cars and head on over to the liquor store. Anonymous, I don't know you but maybe one day I can be just like you and stop donating plasma for my addiction of putting gas in my car so I can head on over to the liq...liq...liquor store so I can support my alcohol addiction that I pay for by donating plasma. NOT!!! You crazy!! I guess, instead of donating plasma which will save lives and put gas in my car so that I am able to get to work to earn money so I can pay my bills and have a little help until my next paycheck. If somebody uses the money they received from their plasma donation to support their habits and/or addictions that does not mean you are donating plasma for the right reasons and the rest of us are donating for the wrong reasons. Actually, YOU are the one that may not understand fully how donating plasma and getting paid for our donations is in fact very much so equal to donating our plasma to save a life or to save lives. Being able to make a little bit of money by donating plasma is 100 times better than people theiving, stealing, breaking into houses and cars, selling drugs,and whatever else they can come up with to make a few bucks. Not to mention you may need a reality check. The plasma that we donate is selling for $200 all the way up to $800. So, the plasma we donate to save lives is being sold by the plasma donation centers for a high profit margin. Anonymous. Dueces. Peace out. Going to go get me some gas and liquor.

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    3. You ACTUALLY think that the plasma center is in it to save lives?! Hell no! How long do you think those doors of that place would be open if they couldn't cover their overhead?! Geez, moron!!!

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  15. I am 58 and my NORMAL pulse rate for ME is 105. Been that way since I was a kid. Heart doctors say I am fine, just a normal high baseline. My blood PRESSURE is LOW. I get deferred a lot for my pulse and I wish they would pay $5 for showing up cause I spend that getting there on the bus.

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  16. I have a REAL 90% chance trick that most of the time works! So ignore breathing in and out slowly cause that makes you anxious. If you have a pulse between 100 to 120, this trick will work! (Maybe even at 140 but I never been that high.) ONLY DO THIS IF YOU FAIL THE 1ST TIME!!!
    Okay so, when they call you back in to redo your heart rate just act calm. Don’t think about anything other than what you should eat for lunch or dinner. Here we go:(make sure to follow the instructions with the most precision)
    1. As the cuff is tightening, breath in slowly along with the tightness for 8-10 seconds.
    2. When it’s nice and tight, hold your breath for 5-8 seconds.
    3. When the 5-10 seconds are done, slowly exhale for 5-8 seconds or until the cuff loosens all the way.

    Why does this work? I don’t know. My pulse was 107 on time and I got deferred. The next day it was 106 and I failed the 1st time. I called my brother to let him know and he explained to me this trick. From being 106, my pulse dropped down to 85!!! Even the lady was surprised! But you can’t let them see you do it, and pray the machine doesn’t mess up cause if you have to redo it, your pulse will be just as high if not higher. It’s a method that can be easily done if done at the precise timing. And remember: Only do this if it’s NECESSARY!!

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  17. I'm so glad I found this . I've been dealing with high pulse or bp idk the difference but the last number . It's in the 120's .I am sedentary and overweight so I know that's issue number one but I've been this size for a while and I've never had issues until the past two months! The last two days sent home!!! I hope I get the $5 for each day. And that's very true about the cuff . I've had them put the big one on and it works . But they haven't done that in a while . Once a lady started talking to me during my retake!!! The second day I heard laughter as I left. One thing I hate is that they have us sit on these high chairs!! It's so uncomfortable for me!!! I drink a ton of water that I feel like I have water poisoning but I most likely don't . My hematocrit comes out great! Temp is Good . What gives! I was told that I'm psyched out from the previous fails which is true and also I have a nervous nature but idk I'm starting to get a lil worried . But I also know I need to get moving more. And I love the comeback to that jerk telling us how perfect he is lol. I'm tired of it. Missed out on 65 last week . But not trying to focus on it . It's tough tho. I'm upset I didn't think about looking up tips Sooner! Well bc I did what I thought would work but it didn't.

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  18. I am an RN and work in a plasma center. It amazes me how many people come in and want to donate but then start crying "I don't have the gas to get out of the parking lot" when they're deferred. There is no guarantee that you will be able to donate! There are many reasons why your heart rate has to be within a certain range to donate. One of them is that removing water from your body is going to naturally make your heart rate go up. Plasma is mostly water. Why would we possibly want your heart rate to be normal before you start donating?

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    1. To RN working at plasma center, of course it's not a guarantee we will be able to donate, but nothing in life is a guarantee. We have a job one day but might not the next no matter how hard we work. Many people are needing money and this fits in between work, family, school and sometimes our second or third jobs. Maybe you should have a little more compassion for those of us donating. We obviously aren't there because we have something better to do. We need the money but it is also great that it helps save others lives. Plus our plasma is what keeps your job going. I have been doing everything I can to continue to go. I have lost 20 pounds of weight, I exercise three times a week, I eat better and stay very well hydrated and my heart rate has been climbing. It doesn't help reading posts like yours. I am working as hard as I can with all my jobs and donating to keep a roof over my head and my kids head. I appreciate your explanation as to why the heart rate is important but next time maybe some actual medical advice on how we can lower our heart rate would be more helpful and maybe try some compassion or get a different career.

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