Monday, February 23, 2015

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.

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