Answer: You can't donate plasma with a fresh, non-healed bruise on your arm (some nurses might let you get away with it though).
However, you have the right to donate plasma once the bruise has passed the pale yellow stage and is mostly healed - meaning that most of the blood is gone from the skin. Typically when it fades from purple to green or yellow, bruising will disappear the next day.
If you have a bruise near where the needle goes into both arms (even your backup arm), you will then be adjourned until the bruise has disappeared. If a bruise happens while you are donating plasma, most centers will stop the donation to keep it from getting worse.
A bruise is the result of blunt force trauma to tissue capillaries, which causes them to crack. They are tiny fragile blood vessels leading just under the skin, as well as larger veins, from which you make your plasma donations. If you donate while you have a bruise, you'll cause more blood to flow to the injured area, prolonging healing times.
Can Plasma Donation Cause a Bruise?
I will tell you my story: I once got a bruise on my arm because a plebotomist stuck the needle in my arm wrong. They say it is rare side effect of the plasma donation. But you may also be more likely to develop a bruise if the donation is more difficult than usual. Bruises can happen to anyone.
Every time I went to donate, however, plasma Telecris left bruises on me. And I'm one that rarely bruises easily - even if I hit something hard. I've been shooting in competitions a long time and never had a bruise even close to those left behind by the plasma donation.
I got a serious injury donating plasma twice, the last being the worse. The plasma center tried to pump the blood back into my arm, but failed to into a vein. Fluid (blood, plasma and anticoagulants) was pumped back into my shoulder outside my veins, and between it and the skin of my arm, causing a giant purple stain. I had a softball-sized bruise on my arm, which lasted about four weeks. Beautiful, isn't it?
They say you should not feel pain or discomfort during a plasma donations - donations only cause a painful bruise is if you have an inexperienced phlebotemist that pushes the needle in too far, hitting a nerve. The result is pain for the donor and a rather large bruise.
So I started CSL Plasma donations, and he had no pain or bruising since. Now I'll only get a bruise when there is a problem with needle insertion. Once I got a small bruise where the needle was inserted too far, but for the most part, I'm free of bruising and have more disposable income. I tried to pass inspection at CSL yesterday but was postponed for at least two weeks because of an injury to my left shoulder of dropping a ladder on it. Go figure.
If you do have a bruise these tips can help within the first 36 hours of when the bruise appeared:
- Icing the area is one of the best ways to speed up the healing process of the bruise. This is a great option if the blemish is located on the arm or leg. Always wrap cold compresses in a clean, dry cloth before applying ice to the bruise don't use it for more than 15 minutes at a time.
- You can also use a warm compress or heating pad and apply to the bruise for 20 minutes 3-5 times a day until the bruise disappears.
- Parsley is known to reduce inflammation, pain and duration of the bruise. To successfully follow this suggestion, crush the leaves of parsley in pasty and rub this paste directly on a bruise. Massage bruise for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse herbs.
- Also, make sure to get plenty of sleep the first night after you get a bruise, to allow your broken capillaries to heal.
The arms being equal, donate with the one will be less annoying to have a huge bruise on, just in case. Other than that it might be better to ask what it is exactly what makes your veins good for donations.
If you're considering donating plasma to help others, or just put some cash in your pocket, go in and talk to the trained nurses on staff first, to get a better idea of what you'll experience while there.