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
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
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.