Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Happens When You Donate Plasma - What is the Process Like?

Plasma is the clear straw colored liquid portion of blood that is left over after red and white blood cells and platelets are removed. It helps defend the body against infection.

Donating plasma is a great way to make a difference in someone's life. These therapies are used by patients all over the world, as well as in your own community.

Here's what happens when you enter the plasma center:

  1. When you enter a donor center, you'll be greeted at the reception desk. You'll be asked to provide some proof of identification, such as a valid drivers license Social Security or INS number and proof of residency, like a utility bill. You also need to verify that you are at least 18 and are in general good health. 
  2. We will then take a few minutes to fill out a new donor history questionnaire, either using a computer or a printed form. It's important for the health of the donor of the safety of plasma protein therapies that donors provide accurate health history information. 
  3. After filling out the questionnaire, your veins are checked to make sure they are suitable for the physical part of the donation. 
  4. If you remain eligible, you will then go into a private room for a physical examination, your health history questionnaire will be reviewed at this time and you will be asked some additional questions about any medications you may be taking tattoos, piercings, recent travel or any high risk behavior that may eliminate you temporarily or permanently, as a suitable plasma donor. 
  5. During the exam you will be observed for your general state of health, your vital signs taken and your skim had the back heart longs abdomen and reflexes will be checked. This physical exam takes place annually, if you become a regular committed donor. 
  6.  Once the physical exam is completed, a technician will take a blood sample to test the protein levels in your blood. You'll also need to verify you weigh at least 110 pounds, your temperature, pulse and blood pressure is also taken to make sure you are ready to donate. These tests are performed and a health history questionnaire administered each time you donate. 
  7. To ensure that your health has not changed after the testing is done, you'll be taken to the center waiting room until a donation chair is available. 
  8. Once a donation chair is ready, a pre-trained technician will escort you and will evaluate which arm to use for the donation. The technician will verify your name and other information which is printed on the donation bag or bottle, and start testing. 
  9. The sterile prepackaged tubing materials that are used with the specialized medical equipment that collects the plasma are then unpacked in front of you. 
  10. The a collection device is then prepared to take the plasma donation after the technician places of tourniquet on your upper arm, and will clean your arm with the sterile solution and then insert the needle. The machine will begin to cycle to start collecting the plasma. 
  11. Once the needle has been inserted your plasma is collected through a process called plasmapheresis, your blood is pumped into a plasmapheresis device that separates the plasma from the other blood components such as red and white blood cells and platelets. 
  12. While the plasma is collected, the other blood components are filtered into a reservoir. Once the reservoir is for your red and white blood cells and platelets are returned to your body throughout the donation process. The system automatically alternates between collection and replacement until the predetermined amount of plasma, which is based on your weight is obtained donating plasma has a long record of safety.
  13. Once the plasma donation process has been completed, the device alerts staff and you will be disconnected from the machine. You'll then be directed to the checkout desk in order to receive compensation for your time and effort involved with the donation. Typically, the compensation ranges from $20-$30. 

Trained staff carefully monitors the entire donation process to make sure that donors are comfortable and healthy throughout the donation experience.

It's important to understand that the process for first-time donor can take up to two hours or more, including the health history questionnaire medical examination and the actual donation process. The entire process takes around 45 minutes after that, so bring along a book or your laptop to help pass the time.

How is Donating Plasma Different From Donating Blood?

It's important to understand that donating plasma that is used to make therapies is a little different from donating blood. Unlike blood donations, donated plasma is not used for blood transfusions at the hospital, but rather undergoes a complex and well-controlled manufacturing process to create life-saving therapies.

Plasma is replenished by your body relatively quickly, and much more rapidly than red blood cells. In the US donors can give plasma twice within seven days with at least two days in between donations.

By contrast, a blood donor may only give blood once every 56 days.

What Is Plasma Used For?

Plasma is used to produce therapies that provide vital proteins such as globulins and blood clotting factors in patients with rare life-threatening diseases. For example, bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disorder primary immunodeficiency diseases.

They help a person's ability to fight infection. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic form of emphysema that severely damages liver and lungs, as well as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, a rare disorder of peripheral nerves. Plasma protein therapies also were used to treat serious medical condition, such as trauma, Burns and shock.

In fact, it can take more than 1000 plasma donations to produce a novel therapy to treat one adult patient per year. Consequently plasma donation is vital.

How is Blood Plasma Donation Regulated?

The industry not only adheres to US and international regulations, but demonstrates its commitment to quality and safety by the introduction of all voluntary set of industry standards called the international quality plasma program or IQPP.

For that reason plasma from one time only donors is not used to produce therapy. A donor must return to the center to donate plasma within six months of the initial donation before either donation can be used to produce a therapy.

This industry practice is one of the voluntary standards developed to help ensure that we collect plasma from healthy and committed donors. Patients who need plasma protein therapies rely on healthy regular committed plasma donors.

The long manufacturing process to create a therapy taken by a patient is 7 to 9 months. So the critical need for these therapies makes it essential to compensate qualified donors for their time. There are about 400 FDA licensed and IQPP certified plasma collection centers in the country.

Why Should I Donate?

Millions of people around the world are coping with rare chronic disorders and they need your help. You can become an essential part of saving someone's life by simply donating your plasma. Plasma can't be made in the laboratory. So it's extremely important that healthy adults donate plasma.

Approximately 20,000,000 plasma donations were collected last year. Donating plasma takes time and is a commitment, but is a meaningful and valuable way to get back to your community and to patients in the long run.

Plasma Donation Guide and Pre-Donation Tips

Having donated blood a couple times in high school, I had always wanted to get back into doing it, but never did for a variety of probably lame reasons. Once I moved to Oregon I thought donating blood again, but then I heard about plasma donation.

Eventually I went to check it out, and I have been donating twice a week for a few months now. Note that this procedure is for ZLB Plasma, as it is the only plasma donation center I have been to.

The basic facts about plasma:

  • The process is called plasmapheresis.
  • You can donate two times a week.
  • Plasma is the liquid part of your blood that aids in controlling bleeding and infections, separate from the red blood cells and other cells in blood. It contains proteins and antibodies to aid in resisting disease and infection.
  • You "donate" blood temporarily, which is spun through some complicated process to separate plasma from blood. They keep your plasma and give you back your blood.
  • Plasma regenerates in 1-2 days.
  • Plasma gained from donations is used to fight hemophilia, as well as help treat burn and shock victims, in addition to other things.
5 Things to do before donating plasma:

  1. Eat a big meal the night before, as well as eating something satisfying shortly before you go in. It's also sometimes a good idea to bring a sandwich or other snack if you're going during the day and expect to waiting in line for an hour or two. Pasta is an especially recommended food for meals the night before donating.
  2. Unhealthy foods such as fried chicken, pizza, and pop aren't suggested. Pop especially is bad, as well as anything that contains caffeine, as it may be found in many delicious beverages but actually serves to dehydrate you.
  3. Get a good night's rest before donating. 6-8 hours is ideal. Similar to how you want a lot of rest before you go in for a test in school or a long shift at work, proper sleep patterns always help. It's even more important with plasma donation, since it's about your body as well as your mind.
  4. Patience and a positive attitude are paramount. You may have to wait in line for a couple hours depending on how busy it is. There is the regular line, and also the VIP line(which I will mention later), so take that into consideration. Bring a book or a mp3 player if it helps. And try to be positive and not think about how much the needle is going to hurt, the less you focus on it the less you will notice.
  5. The most important step in plasma donation preparation is to drink fluids. Lots of them. Water is the best, but pretty much anything devoid of caffeine will work. I usually try to drink at least half a gallon of water the day before donating and several glasses before going in to donate. I also don't drink a lot normally, so if you're more well-hydrated you may need less preparation. Being dehydrated means you're probably going to feel sick when you donate, and your hydration levels affect how long the donation will take.
An overlooked fact about plasma donation is that your blood will be filtered through the process, as they don't want any junk floating around in the plasma that is being donated. So plasma donation can be considered a way to help keep healthy, after all who wants nasty fat clogging their veins? I know I sure don't.

These factors will prevent you from donating:

  • Having a temperature, blood pressure, protein level or pulse that is not within the accepted range. I was below temperature once and was deferred for the day.
  • Having a recent tattoo or piercing. If you've gotten one recently, you're going to have to wait a year from the day you got it to donate.
  • Being under 110 lbs. There is no maximum weight limit, but the smaller you are the less plasma you can afford to lose, so there is a limit for minimum weight.
  • Being younger than 18 or older than 59.
  • Being sick. This seems obvious, but even if you have just a stuffy nose or a cough I would not recommend going. There was a day when I donated during which I was sick during the morning, felt fine later, and decided to donate. I didn't feel so well after I was done donating, and I had no one to blame but myself. They do ask you if you have any symptoms, so think of the possible consequences should you lie to them.
  • Having AIDS or anything similarly debilitating. It should be obvious that if you are afflicted with something or not feeling well, you shouldn't donate. Not only to keep yourself from harm, but also anyone that may receive your plasma, as they may be in a weaker state than you.
What Happens During the donation process:

  1. Before going in, make sure you've eaten, are hydrated, and have your social security card, as well as something with your current address on it, probably your driver's license or even a bill. Also set aside 4-5 hours for the first donation, it will take longer.
  2. Upon arriving at the center, inform them that you're a new donor, they will instruct you and place you in a separate line. Once called you'll answer some questions and then return to the waiting area. You'll then be screened again, and also be given a very brief physical. This is only for the first donation, or if you haven't donated in a long time, normally you'll only have a light screening. This tends to take a couple hours in my experiences, there is usually one doctor to tend to the new donors, so if there are others going for the first time your wait will certainly be longer.
  3. After all the first-time stuff is out of the way and your name has been called, you'll go into one of the numbered booths near the lobby. You'll step onto the scale, as your weight determines how much plasma you'll donate, and how much you'll get paid. They will prick your finger and obtain a small blood sample to test, put on a blood pressure donut and take your temperature. Then they will ask you a series of fairly obvious questions to make sure you're qualified to donate. If everything is good, you'll be accepted and then will return to the lobby to wait until your name is called.
  4. Once called yet again, you will follow an attendant to a bed, depending on which arm you choose to donate with. You can use the same arm each time, but I definitely recommend alternating. From here, you will have a donut put around your arm, which will of course tighten up. While this is happening, you are to make a fist, so that it's easier for the attendant to find a suitable vein. They will pick a spot near the center of your arm and disinfect it with iodine. Then, of course, the needle comes in. I find it best to look away and take deep, relaxing breaths. I also listen to music to further distract myself, as well as to be entertained. 
  5. Once it's in and secured, while your arm is tightened you will be instructed to make a quick, repetitive clenching motion with your hand to help the blood flow. There are cycles of donation, after enough blood has been taken, the donut will deflate, and your can relax your arm until another cycle begins. 
  6. After four or five cycles, the plasma container will be full enough, and no more blood will be taken. You will see the blood in the tubes start to lighten, as the saline is mixed in with it and both are returned to your body. The saline will probably feel a little cold, however it's a good thing, as it helps to re-hydrate you. Once you are done, the machine will beep, and an attendant will come over to remove the equipment, bandage you up, and give you a PIN to get your payment from the ATM.
It may sound complicated, but it is a simple process. If you have a fear of needles, or even if you just think about it too much right beforehand, donating can seem frightening. However, these are trained professionals, and the pain will only last for a few seconds. Sometimes you may not even feel the needle.

In subsequent visits you'll merely have to take a number, sign in and wait, get screened, and then go donate. It will take between 2-4 hours typically, depending on how busy the center is and how hydrated you are. After the first donation you will be given a VIP pass to use on the second donation, which places you in a separate line and eliminates the majority of the waiting. This is because VIPs are screened before regular donors.

Payment Goes By Donor Weight:

  • 110-149 lbs. - 10 dollars per donation
  • 150-174 lbs. - 15 dollars first donation, 30 dollars second donation
  • 175 lbs. and up - 20 dollars first donation, 35 dollars second donation

Each center will pay you differently, but it's generally based on weight.

How Often and When Do You Get Paid?

As I have been to ZLB Plasma, I can tell you about their payment schedule. You can donate twice a week, but you cannot donate on consecutive days.

Also, after donating twice you must wait a week from those days to donate again. If your first donation is on a Monday and your second is on a Thursday, you can't donate the week after until the following Monday, and can't do a second donation until the following Thursday.

In conclusion, plasma donation is a safe way to make money and also help others out. The only downside is that not every area has a plasma donation center, and the payoff unfortunately doesn't make it worth it to drive a couple hours just to donate.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Should College Students Donate Plasma for Money?

In the search for extra cash, many students are mining their veins. Plasma donation centers, such as Plasma Biological Services, Inc. in Jackson, Tenn., offer $20 for each deposit. An enterprising student can easily donate their way to $250 a month by swapping plasma for money.

"A lot of students are [plasma] donation addicts because they calculate how much you can make in a month," said senior Patrick Myers, theatre major.

This week Clark was joined by sophomore Anna Buchanan, learning foundations major.

"The worst part is when they prick your finger," Buchanan said, before disappearing into one of three small booths for her pre-donation tests.

Clark said he sees another Union University student almost every time he goes to PBSI. Freshman John Oswalt, athletic training major, has been donating every Tuesday and Thursday since late September when he received a flyer from Plasma Biological Services, Inc.

"Every now and then they play a bad movie," Oswalt joked, "but you get to meet the most random people."

All three students said the money is their motivation for donating plasma. Oswalt said he uses the money from his plasma donations to supplement his work-study job on campus.

What Is Plasma, Really?

The average adult has about 12 pints of whole blood, 57 percent of which is clear, protein-rich plasma.

Plasma contains clotting factors, which help treat hemophilia and other diseases, but many donations are needed to supply the growing demand.

"It takes so much plasma to make so little amount of clotting factor," said Plasma Biological Services, Inc. center manager Angela Nickell.

How is it Extracted?

During the extraction process, plasmapheresis, a spinning device separates plasma from the other whole blood components (i.e. red and white blood cells and platelets) which are then returned to the body.

Plasma Biological Services, Inc. regional manager Shane Bone said the body will replenish the plasma in about 36 hours.

Components in plasma are also used in hospitals and emergency rooms to treat shock, burns and other traumatic injuries.

Plasma aids the circulation of red and white blood cells and contributes to natural chemical communication between different parts of the body.

Is There Danger of Infection?

"All the equipment is 100 percent sterile," said Bone. The materials that come in contact with the blood are replaced for each donation to prevent contraction of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B.
Bone said he has seen donors who gave for 20 or more years without any long-term health problems.

However, Bone and Nickel both warned against the possibility of low protein-levels and dehydration.
"Plasma is protein-rich and mostly water, so donating can deplete the body's protein," Nickell said.

"The saline we replace it with doesn't have protein, so we check iron levels and protein levels before each donation. If people are not between a certain level, they can't give."

Bone said it is important for donors to eat a good diet and drink plenty of water.

What Can First-Time Donors Expect?

The prospective donor can expect to spend two hours in the center their first time. This allows for the physical examination, which is repeated annually, and the donation process. Subsequent visits may only take up to an hour and a half.

University students Micah Moyers, digital media studies major, and Wayne Campbell, computer science major, were regular plasma donors last semester.

"We would race to see who could give the fastest." Moyers said. "We got into the upper 40-minute range, which is pretty good. We would pump like crazy, and some of the nurses would cheer for us."

Moyers and Campbell often used Plasma Biological Services, Inc. to fund their DVD collection.
"Whenever a new movie came out and we didn't have any money, we would go give plasma so we could buy DVDs," Moyers said. "It was completely for the money."

Even with the money, the plasma donation process does not appeal to everyone.
Campbell convinced Myers to donate twice last year "on a dare," despite Myers' self-confessed extreme fear of needles.

"The experience itself was character building," Myers said, "which you use to describe anything you don't ever want to do again, but are glad you did."

"The main thing is to help other people. I think it's a great thing, especially if you get money. I would definitely do it more often except for the whole passing out thing."

For Moyers, the stopping point came when his grueling donation schedule began to take its toll on his veins.

"I donated for a year straight, and then it started to hurt. When I would go to donate, my veins would start quivering. I figured that wasn't good."

Moyers took a break before returning to Plasma Biological Services, Inc.

"I started out fine, but then it started to hurt again, really hurt. I would be pumping fine and then it would slow down and finally stop. They pulled the needle out and stuck it back in. That wasn't fun-being stuck eight times for the same plasma donation."

If you are interested in donating plasma, it is a great idea. There are very minimal health risks involved with donating plasma and it is very helpful to the recipient of the plasma on the other end. If you are a college student it is especially helpful to you because you get compensated for donating plasma and it is a very short and simple process.

What Happens During Plasma Donation?

Plasma donation involves a health screening to make sure you are in good health. Then, the technician will draw blood from your arm, a machine will remove the plasma from the blood, and the blood with the plasma removed will be injected back into your arm.

The plasma that is taken from your blood stream will be tested not once, but twice for any disease, virus, or possible infection in the blood before it is ever passed on to someone who needs it. The entire process is very safe and helpful to those who would not be making it through their illnesses without your blood plasma.

The whole process of plasma donation takes less than about 20 minutes and is relatively pain free if you can stand the pain of the shots that you get at a doctors appointment for a routine checkup. It is recommended that you are well slept and well fed before you go to get any blood drawn for plasma donation.

If you are under slept or under fed you may be more inclined to get dizzy or even pass out because of the blood that is being drawn. This is about the only health risk involved in getting your blood drawn for plasma donation.

Besides being helpful to those who need your plasma, you can also be compensated for your plasma and your time every time you donate plasma. Most clinics compensate between $15 and $20 for each plasma donation. You can donate plasma more than once and up to twelve times per year.

How is Blood Plasma Collected from Donors?

In layman's terms plasma is about 90% water plus life supporting components that include proteins, nutrients, and minerals. Plasma carries blood cells and platelets, delivers nutrients and carries off wastes.

Plasma is collected because it's vital to make therapies that maintain blood volume and pressure in patients, plus the proteins it contains support our body's immunity and blood clotting abilities.

The Plasma Collection Process

There are two ways that plasma can be collected: 

1.) The first is an automated process called plasmapheresis in which your blood extracted from your body into a machine, which separates the plasma from the other components; your blood cells, etc. are then returned to your body. This produces source plasma, the starting material before it is manufactured into the other therapies.

2.) Recovered plasma is different in the method of collection, as it is comes from whole blood donation. It is also subject to different requirements for storage, dating, labeling, and pooling.

 What A Plasma Machine Does 

In most cases, the actual process of donating plasma, Plasmapheresis, is automated. When you are hooked up to a machine in a plasma donation clinic the machine will first draw your blood into a central chamber which spins fast enough to separate the plasma from the blood.

A nurse puts a needle into your vein to extract blood; the blood travels through tubing into a machine that separates the plasma from your red blood cells; the plasma gets collected into a holding bag; and your remaining blood cells and components get returned to your body.

Once separated from the blood the plasma drops to a separate storage space in the machine and once enough plasma is collected it is then sent from the machine into a donation bottle outside.

During the plasma donation procedure, different proteins and other factors can be separated out to make life giving medicatins while the red blood cells are returned to the donor

Now that all the plasma is gone from the blood the blood is now returned to the donor and in most cases this step has no pain at all. Depending on your weight and how much plasma they take it could take anywhere from 3 to 5 cycles for the machine to get all the plasma they need.

What Happens To Plasma After Donation?

Donated plasma gets used in the manufacture of medicine or for direct transfusion into critically ill patients to increase their blood volume or help treat certain serious medical conditions.

How to Prepare for Your First Plasma Donation

If the donor and medical staff are equally prepared, plasma donation is a procedure with little risk, and lots of benefits. Before donating, you should get lots of rest, stay well hydrated, and eat a healthy, well-balanced meal within 2 hours of donation.
You must be in generally good health, with no genetic diseases, and no recent piercings or tattoos. Before you donate for the first time, you'll be asked to fill out a questionnaire on your past and medical history.

Here are 3 steps to prepare for your first donation:

  1. Give a Urine Sample, Get a Physical. A urine sample is taken to test your health and protein level , not for drugs. Every donation you must first pass a small screening were they take your blood pressure , temperature and weight.
  2. Have Your ID Ready to Donate. Besides the physical requirements you need to live within the local area of the clinic so proof of residence is required. You need a photo ID , SS card and a recent US post office marked envelope sent to you within the last 30 days for both clinics. Don't waste your time and go down without all these things. 
  3. Eat and Drink Before Donating. You need to eat well before and after each donation and also drink a lot of water. Try to stay away from soda and coffee , H20 is the best thing along with eating good.

You need to eat a good meal 2 hours before each donation. The more water you drink the faster your donation will go once your on the bed. On your first donation you need to make sure you eat well the night before because your body wont be use to low plasma , some people are effected by this more than others.

What Happens During Plasma Donation?

Once the pre-examination process is completed, the donor will be asked to lie down on a donor table and relax. A pressure cuff will be placed on one arm and then inflated to present a viable vein for needle insertion.

 The technician will then insert the needle and the donor's blood will pass through sterile tubing and will begin to be collected in the centrifuge for separation of the plasma from the blood.

After the separation process, the blood will be returned to the donor through a filter that protects them from the health risks of donating plasma. The process of donating blood or plasma removes certain elements from the body, so a juice drink and/or a saline drink is provided to the donor afterward. This will avoid many risks of giving plasma.

Health Risks Of Donating Plasma 

There are no long-term health risks of donating plasma as long as required steps are taken by the donor and the donation center. There will be a small mark on the arm where the needle was inserted, but this will disappear quickly if liquid vitamin E or aloe vera is applied to the mark regularly.

Certain other risks of donating plasma may include women who donate too often experiencing lowered levels of hemoglobin, an element of the blood. Some isolated instances of lowered levels of antibodies have been reported as well. In these cases, a doctor or other qualified medical professional should be consulted.

Overall, the health risks of donating plasma will be minimal. As long as all precautions are taken, there are no significant health risks of donating plasma. Donations of blood are given millions of times per year by millions of people without any reported risks of giving plasma.

Why Donate Plasma

When you donate plasma you help others and yourself. If you need extra money, have extra time or maybe you just want to help others, donating plasma is a great way to do just that.

 Remember to eat well and drink a lot of water before and after each and every donation and you should be fine each and every time you donate plasma.

Federal Regulations on Plasma Donation

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires donors to weigh at least 110 pounds, and the donor may not give a donation more than once every two days or more than twice in seven days. 

Federal regulations state that an individual may donate twice in a week ( 7 day period) as long as there has been 2 full days between donations.

Other requirements to avoid risks of donating plasma consist of:

  • A physical examination (including a urine analysis and visual inspection to prevent drug users from donating), 
  • Questionnaires about the donor's health history and lifestyle (including questions about HIV and other health issues), 
  • And a discussion about any tattoos or body piercing within the last twelve months.

Following a plasma donation, your body can replace that plasma within 48 hours as long as you are in good health and following a healthy diet and taking in adequate water to replace fluids. The amount of plasma you can donate at each visit is based on your weight and federal guidelines.

How Often Does the FDA Recommend Donating?

The FDA recommends taking time off from regular donations every few months to avoid further risks of giving plasma. Many donation centers will also not allow regular donors from giving blood more than twelve times per year to avoid risks of donating plasma.

Is Plasma Donation Safe?

Plasma donation is safe and there are strict screening procedures in place as regulated by the federal government. Regulations require that all plasma donors submit to a pre-donation physical, including medical history questions, tests for transmissible viruses such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV, total plasma protein levels and hematocrit/hemoglobin levels.

In some cases, the risks of giving plasma are elevated due to improper insertion of the needle. However, these cases are very rare, and there are strict FDA guidelines for training and hiring donation technicians.

What to Eat Before Donating Plasma?

As a plasma donor, you've already demonstrated your commitment to helping take care of others. So why not take a moment to take proper care of yourself as well?

You can start with a healthy diet.

Just as athletes tailor their diet to maximize their performance, so should you eat well in preparation for giving plasma. That means a diet high in protein, rich in iron, and low in fat.

Your body requires 50-80 grams of protein daily. Nuts, eggs, fish, and other foods high in protein, can help you achieve the daily recommended requirement. If your protein isn't within range, you'll be deferred from plasma donation.

A well-balanced diet also includes iron.

Foods such as:

  • tuna
  • lean red meat
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • beans

And they are all high in iron.

And of course avoid fatty foods. You probably already know that they're not good for you daily life. Did you know that fatty foods can give your plasma a milky appearance, and interfere with the laboratory tests, which can prevent you from donating?

The day of your donation, eat a light meal within three hours of your donation. This will create the right balance for you during your participation in the program. So eat well, feel well, and happy donating!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Requirements to Donate Plasma

Plasma donation centers don't accept all donors. In fact, 70% of all patients are screened out the first time. Potential Donors have to meet the following strict FDA requirements:

1.) To donate plasma eligible donors must be between the ages of 18 to 65, weigh one hundred and 50 pounds or more and be an overall good health.

2.)In addition you will need a valid Social Security number along with a photo ID such as a drivers license, military, or student identification card. You also need to provide proof of your current address. This can be done with any current utility or phone bill mailed to your current address the day before your donation.

When you arrive to the plasma donation center please have the required documents ready.

3.) It is recommended that you physically prepare your body. It's very important to hydrate by drinking lots of water the day before and the day of your donation by eating nutritionally balanced meals. Do not drink beverages with alcohol or caffeine.

We also recommend that you avoid high cholesterol or fatty foods like hotdogs, fried foods, cheeses and whole milk.

4.) When you check into your appointment you need to fill out a simple questionnaire that will help us determine your suitability for donation. During the medical screening process we will take your vital signs, weight, blood pressure, pulse and temperature to determine your donor suitability.

We test a sample of your blood to get your hematocrit, which is your percentage of your blood which is occupied by red blood cells. We measure the protein levels in your plasma through a small drop of blood elected by pinprick one of your fingertips.  We will also ask you a series of questions regarding high risk and your medical history.

5.) The last step before the donation process is a physical exam one of our train medical supervisors or physicians will visit with you to obtain a more complete medical assessment. During this exam they will administer a medical history interview as well as a hands-on physical examination.

Why Are Some Plasma Donors Screened Out? 

Please note that these steps will help us to determine safe for you to donate plasma and whether or not you are a suitable candidate for plasma donation. We recommend that you visit your personal physician regularly as our medical procedures are not meant to replace your routine medical care.

What Happens During Your Donation

Now it's time to begin your first plasma donation: you will be seated in our relaxing state-of-the-art donor lounge, while a highly trained staff will begin preparing for the collection of your plasma.

Your plasma will then be removed and separated into a bottle in your red blood cells, which will then be returned to your body through the same needle. All the supplies used for your plasma collection are sterile, discarded after every use.

Post Plasma Donation

This process takes about a half an hour and varies from patient. After donating plasma allow a few minutes to let your body adjusts to the change in blood volume.

There are no side effects from donating, since your body's plasma regenerates very quickly typically between 24 to 48 hours after donating.

However it is important to take care of yourself following your donation. Please remember to eat a nutritional meal afterwards in order to replenish your blood volume and provide energy. The plasma donation staff is here to assist you in any way possible to ensure you have a pleasant and safe donation experience.

When you check out the donation center will arrange for your financial compensation, and schedule your next donation appointment.

Monday, February 23, 2015

What Role Does Blood Plasma Play in the Body?

Blood consists of both plasma and the formed elements found within the plasma. This latter is made up of three different elements: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Each of these substances provide our bodies with the support we need to survive both internally and externally.

Plasma is the pale yellow liquid that your red blood cells are suspended in. Plasma contains 90% water and a rich mix of over 500 proteins, carrying glucose, clotting factors and antibodies.

Blood Plasma And Homestasis

Blood plasma itself also plays a critical role in homeostasis. While platelets, red and white blood cells are often praised for being the most critical parts of the human blood, plasma too plays an important role that should not be passed over.

Indeed plasma too plays a role in maintaining homeostasis. For one, plasma is responsible for transporting gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen; nutrients like glucose and amino acids, hormones; proteins; lipids; ions such as sodium, chloride, and calcium; and various waste products (Chiras, 2005).

Plasma Contains Proteins

As if such an important role as transportation weren't enough, blood plasma also contains proteins that serve very specific and important roles as "carriers" for hormones, ions, and fatty acids. These carrier proteins protect smaller molecules from destruction by the liver as well as facilitate transport for other molecules through the bloodstream. Fibrinogen, another type of blood protein aids in blood clotting, another critical homeostasis function (Chiras, 2005).

It Regulates Osmotic Pressure

Another important function of plasma protein is the regulation of osmotic pressure. This regulation allows for the distribution of materials, including waste and nutrients, throughout the body. Additionally, these same blood proteins aid in the regulation of blood pH, a critical function in maintaining blood homeostasis.

The Makeup of Blood

Plasma, which makes up around 55 percent of human blood, is the liquid portion of our blood. 90 percent of blood plasma is water. The red blood cells within the plasma make up around 45 percent of the blood, while white blood cells make up a meager 1 percent.

Amazingly enough, blood volume (i.e. the amount of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) vary according to place of residence. David Chiras, author of Human Biology's 5th Edition textbook notes that the blood volume (also known as hematocrit) of "people living in Denver, a mile above sea level...are typically about 5% higher than in people living at sea level" (2005).

The change in hematocrit is a result of our body's homeostatic abilities. Because those living above sea level require more oxygen, the blood composition varies, by increasing oxygen transporting red blood cells, in order to compensate for this need.

Plasma Plays a Vital Role in Bodily Function

There is more to blood than the red substance that comes out of our bodies when we're injured. In fact, blood is a highly complex part of existence. Within that simple red liquid lies several very important substances like plasma.

Clearly blood plasma, which not only carries the platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells, but also aids in maintaining homeostasis, plays a critical role in the human body. Although red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets get a lot of attention for their critical roles in the body and the way we think of blood, plasma is a part of the blood that acts as the transportation, pH and osmosis regulator, and "carrier."

7 Reasons Why You Should Donate Plasma

Just as my mother and I were about to tuck into a delicious bacon avocado burrito feast at Chipotle grill, she suddenly asked the question: "Why Do you donate plasma? You know that it's bad for your health, right? Plus, whatever happened to your ambition? You could do so much better with your life!"

After wiping the burrito crumbs from my magnificent auburn beard, I took some time to really think about her question, and attempt to explain to her the benefits I get from plasma donation.

Later, I came up with the following list of reasons:

1.) Save Others' Lives With Plasmapheresis Therapy

Plain and simple...blood plasma is used to manufacture therapies to keep people alive. It assists in defending against infection and blood clotting. It is used to treat a variety of diseases and disorders such as: Hemophilia, hepatitis B, immune system deficiency, and tetanus, and used in the treatment of burns, trauma, and shock. Two proteins in plasma have been credited with saving countless lives of wounded World War II soldiers, and continue to help our wounded men and women fighting in Iraq today.

2.) Fill Your Wallet With Cash!

When donating source plasma, donors may be paid. Currently, BioLife Plasma Services compensates you $20 for the first donation and $30 for the second donation in a given calendar week (from Monday to Saturday).

Most times, there is a monthly special going on, such as an extra $10 on your fifth and $20 on your seventh visit to the plasma donation center. This money is put on a debit card. BioLife Plasma Services will give you any special details about using this debit card when you first receive it at the plasma donation center.

This compensation is not for the plasma, per se, but for the time involved in the process of collection. Plasma donation companies then sell the plasma to pharmaceutical companies to be manufactured into the therapies needed. Whole blood donation centers are usually non-profit entities, so the collection of your blood and its recovered plasma is truly a donation by you.

3.) Grow Your Savings Account by $3,120 per Year

If you go 2 times a week you're making 60 dollars a week. If you do it all year, thats 52 weeks. Simple math; 60 dollars a week x 52 weeks is 3,120 dollars a year. It's easy money and it is actually pretty simple if you can spare an 4 hours out of the week.

4.) There's 0% Chance of Infection

BioLife Plasma Services uses strict quality guidelines. Through their donating process, equipment that comes in contact with blood is only used once for each donor. No blood or blood products some in contact with universal equipment.

5.) Make the Most of Your Boring Down Time

In between classes and looking for something to do? This is plasma donation in a nutshell: They draw blood out of you, it goes into the machine and they separate the plasma out of the blood, then they put the blood back into your system while they deposit the plasma into a bag. It's a simple process that takes takes about two and a half hours your very first time. Usually the normal process after you become a continual donor takes about an hour and a half.

A few tips for you though; Bring a book. You'll spend a lot of the time reading it. If you aren't a reader, bring an mp3 player. You'll want something to do while you're there, because when you're on the machine it seems a lot longer than it actually is.

6.) Get a Free Physical With Each Donation

 A yearly physical exam is performed at the collection center. During each visit, prior to donation, vital statistics are checked. Blood is also tested for proper iron and protein levels before a person can donate. Biolife Plasma Services has an online page of Donor Eligibility Guidelines2, including certain medications or disorders that may prevent you from donating plasma.

7.) Meet Some New and Exciting People

Yes, you can make a few bucks donating plasma, and your plasma may actually save lives. In addition to this, I can guarantee that you will definitely run into some interesting people should you decide to make plasma donation a habit - such as people who donate plasma for a living, moms trying to save for a college education, and yes, the occasional drug user trying to score their next fix.

My First Time Plasma Donation Experience

At this point, I have sold plasma for extra cash on several different occasions. Plasma is mostly water, and is used in various medical situations such as in surgery, and to facilitate wounds during the healing process.

Here are some questions about donating plasma I now feel I'm qualified to answer:

1.) How much does it pay? 

Yes, that's really an important question. The answer is, it varies. Before making the choice to sell plasma you should consider all the important points. The process takes time, sometimes several hours for first-time participants, so it's important to know if selling plasma will be worth your time.

I was paid $55 on my first and second visit. This is no doubt a way to get people in the door, as the price is dropped after the first couple of visits, and I now make $35 the first visit of the week, and $40 on the second. Still, not bad for basically doing nothing.

2.) How much time does it take? 

On my first visit I was in the waiting room for approximately four hours, followed by the actual procedure, and that took a little under an hour. After that, I have found the average time to be around 2-3 hours. I have heard that other areas have a much shorter waiting time than at the place I participate.

3.) How do plasma centers screen donors? 

On the first visit, you will have to go through a physical. It's pretty basic, dealing mostly with overall health. They check reflexes, shine a light in your eyes, listen to your heart, etc.

 Also on your first visit, and every visit following, you will have your blood checked (which requires your finger to be pricked and squeezed), your temperature will be taken, blood pressure and pulse checked, and your weight will be checked.

On every visit you will have to answer numerous questions regarding health and illnesses, time spent in other countries, if you have been to jail, and if you're feeling well that day. These questions are significantly abbreviated after the first visit, when you are also asked about tattoos and piercings (you will not be able to participate if you have had a piercing or tattoo, including any alterations, within the last year).
4.) What's the plasma donation procedure like? 

The actual procedure isn't that bad for people who aren't afraid of needles. For me, I get a little nervous every single visit because I don't like needles. Honestly, pulling the tape from my arm hurts worse that the actual needle prick.

So, your name is called, and someone takes you back to a bunch of really comfortable chairs with single armrests. They will most likely ask which arm you would prefer having the needle in. They will take you to a chair, ask you the last four digits of your social security number, rub iodine on your arm, and stick the needle in. They will ask you to pump your fist to help the process along. I usually bring a book, and actually enjoy myself most visits.
You will be able to participate in this process twice a week as long as you remain healthy. I have been turned away for having a high temperature before, so I would suggest staying home on days you don't feel well. Remember to eat a good meal before you go, and stay hydrated because they will be taking about half a gallon on fluid from your body.

5.) Does Donating Have any Side Effects?
The process could make you feel dizzy or nauseous if you try to sell on an empty stomach. A constant side-effect for me is the feeling of fatigue, but that can be countered by drinking more fluids and having a good meal after the visit. Overall, my experiences selling plasma have been pleasant and profitable.

Where To Donate Plasma in Colorado

Paid and Unpaid Donation Locations are located throughout Colorado state, but gathering information on them can be difficult. Here is a summary of the best, highest paying plasma donation centers in CO, USA.

Paid Plasma Donation:

1.) Bio-Mat Center 501 Sable Blvd. Aurora, Colorado 80011-8839 (303) 367-9660

They are accepting any blood type for plasma donation. Your first donation you receive $30, and your second you receive $50. After that the payment amount goes down to $25 dollars per donation. I have heard some negative information about there appointment procedures, and long wait times to donate from a friend that tried to donate there, so beware and get to your appointment early.

2.) IBR Plasma Center is located at 145 S Sheridan Blvd. Alameda Crossings Ctr. Lakewood, CO 80226 (303) 238-0363.

They are open Tuesday - Saturday. You can earn up to $200 a month, if you donate twice weekly.

3.) ZLB Plasma Service seems to also be called CSL Plasma and has three locations in Colorado.

The first in metro Denver is 690 Peoria St Unit M Aurora, CO 80011, can be reached by phone at 303-363-0095.

In Fort Collins at 1228 W Elizabeth Street Fort Collins, CO 80521, there phone number is 970-484-2248.

And the third location is 3505 11th Ave Evans, CO 80620, there phone number is 970-330-3558.

They do not take appointments, but they will accept donations if you are there 1 hour before closing. Pay scale is based on weight; a 140 lb person would receive $25 for the first and second donation, after that is $15.

4.) Blood Bank Donors located at 1800 15th Street in Greeley, CO 80631-5154 can be reached by phone at (970) 350-6100.

I heard about them from a friend in Greeley, but was only able to locate an address and phone number. I could find no other information and they did not answer the phone when I attempted to contact them, so they may be closed.

Voluntary Plasma Donation:

Bonfils Blood Bank has a central Denver location at 717 Yosemite St Denver, CO 80230 and many blood drives where they drive a van containing a portable lab to locations all over your city.

You can access this online at Bonfils or you can call there appointment line at (303) 363-2300 or 1-800-365-0006. Bonfils does not pay for blood or plasma donation, they are a volunteer donation center only.

There are many other volunteer donation centers in Colorado, and most hospitals have a blood bank that accepts donations of whole blood or of platelets, or plasma. A list of these can be found on the web at but beware, this list is not accurate or up to date. They have an Art and Rug store listed as a blood bank, and I have been there, if they are taking blood it is not for legit reasons! I could find no more complete list, sorry.

Who is Eligible to donate?

That varies greatly based on the company that is taking your blood. Everyone agrees that you must have valid identification, and they will first run blood screens for common illnesses or diseases that make you ineligible. The most complete list of eligibility requirements is found on the Bonfils website at Bonfils half way down the page they start answering FAQ's which can be very helpful even if you decide to go donate at a paid facility.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why Donate Blood Plasma - What Are the Benefits?

Although not as widely advertised as other types of medical donations paid plasma donation is important kind donations, since there is a continuing need for lifesaving plasma therapies.

 It is important to note that due to high demand for plasma, money has become the industry standard in compensation; otherwise, throughout the world plasma donors falls below the current worldwide demand for plasma.

Plasma Money Is Good

During plasma donation, the money earned carries monetary incentive, but the emotional satisfaction is also achieved by knowing that they contribute to replenish the supply of critical plasma and help save lives. Be sure to note that the demand for plasma is great because of its universal use in the treatment and medical research. Plasma donation centers is beneficial to the public good.

Sign up for life by plasmapheresis Therapy

Many people want to save lives, passing their plasma plasma centers that offer paid plasma donation. Others will donate blood, paid compensation will be given to them while they are helping to save lives. Many places offer will be paid bank sperm sperm donation to donate sperm for cash. Egg donation of equipment to accept women who donate eggs, the money will be for them, and they help to create life.

Blood donation and blood donation can help save lives and improve the survival of patients in need of major medical care. Donations often reward the donor money as compensation for both at the time of investment.

Perhaps you are considering donating plasma or blood donation, sperm donation or maybe an egg or a donation as a way to give to others. In this way you can offer excellent service, helping to save lives, and even, in the case of the donation of sperm or egg donation form life, and at the same time earning. How do we help others, gifts and making extra money, think about it, he did not have to pick up a part-time to the extra money.

More Reasons to Donate

Donations human plasma, blood, sperm or eggs are extremely important, because no one can be done in the laboratory. Donating blood in blood banks helps replenish necessary for blood transfusions used for accident victims and patients in need of major surgery.

Donating plasma allows plasma centers to collect the raw materials needed for the production of pharmaceutical companies, life-saving medicines, which can be made only from human plasma to treat patients in shock or trauma, burn victims and other diseases. Donating sperm and egg donation and sperm banks allow centers egg donation to help infertile couples, single mothers, and others to achieve the dream of a child.

Pair of suffering from infertility, and requires sperm or egg donation to a patient in need of blood plasma or a significant treatment is not always a permanent need for new donation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Plasma Donation FAQ's

Who can Donate Plasma?

Anyone at least 18 years of age and who weighs at least 110 pounds. All individuals who donate plasma must pass a brief medical examination, extensive medical history screening, and testing for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. To ensure medical requirements, the first visit will take two to three hours. Subsequent visits will take one and a half hours.

What types of Medical Screening and Test?

The US requires all plasma donors to have a pre-donation physical, including medical history questions, tests for syphilis, hepatitis, HIV and AIDS, total plasma protein and hematocrit/hemoglobin levels, and urinalysis.

How often can Plasma be donated?

The body replaces the donated plasma usually within 24 to 48 hours if the donor keeps a healthy diet with an adequate amount of fluids and proteins. In the United States, a person may donate two times in every seven days, but not more than every other day. In absence of volume replacement not more than 600ml net volume of plasma should be removed. According the guidelines, plasma collection should not take place more often that every second week. No more than 15 liters of plasma a year should be collected from an individual donor. However, these recommendations are given for the collection of plasma for therapeutic use.

Current automated plasmapheresis donation systems (Plasma Collection Systems PCS2) and manufacturing supply requirements demand that donors visit a collection center up to twice per week. Donors are generally provided with between $15 and $25 USD compensation per donation. Each collection facility sets its own compensation.

How is the Plasma removed?

Donation plasma is similar to donation blood. A needle is placed in the vein of an arm and blood is collected in sterile equipment. The plasma is separated from the red blood cells. The red blood cells are returned to the donor often with sterile saline solution to help the body replace the plasma removed from the blood.

How much Plasma is needed?

Worldwide, the total demand for plasma by fractionators (Pharmaceutical companies who further manufacture plasma into plasma based therapies) exceeds 20 million liters. The amount collected by plasmapheresis is commercial plasma industry facilities is roughly 11 million liters from over 13 million donations. The remaining liters are recovered from whole blood donations at community or American Red Cross (ARC) blood banks around the world.

Can I get AIDS or other diseases from donation Plasma?
NO. Plasma donations are made in highly controlled, sterile environment by professionally trained staff. All plasma collection equipment is sterilized and equipment that gets in contact with the donor's blood or plasma is used only once, elimination the possibility of transmitting any viral infection.

What is Plasma used for?

Once the plasma is manufactured into lifesaving therapies produced by fractionation, these therapies help individuals who have one of the following conditions:

  • Animal Bites (in the prevention of rabies)
  • Bleeding Disorders (Hemophilia)
  • Cardiopulmonary Needs
  • Genetic Lung Disorders
  • Hepatitis
  • Immune System Deficiencies
  • Pediatric HIV
  • Recipients of Transplants
  • Rh Incompatibility
  • Serious Liver Conditions
  • Shock
  • Trauma
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