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.


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

    1. its 180/100, this is correct answer

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      Best rgs

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

    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.

    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.

  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.

  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!!!!!!!!!!

    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.

    2. You are right about that


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