Saturday, May 21, 2016

How Often Can You Donate Plasma?

Q: Hi, I'm a regular donor in the U.S. Biolife Orem Ut program and I donate twice a week. How often can I donate plasma? (I ask because I know that the American Red Cross states on its website that they will only let you donate 12 times a year - because it's all FDA rules or is it just a red cross policy?) I know that according to FDA regulation a donor can donate twice a week, but is there a limit to the frequency of how many times can I donate?

Also, I had a friend who used to donate plasma for money, and she had a twice per week schedule. Her Blood Bank would only allow people to donate twice a week and desired that people do not donate more than twice a month.

A: For plasma donors, the American Red Cross website says:  

"You can donate every 28 days, and up to 13 times a year. Plasma can be donated at least once every three weeks, preferably every four weeks. Platelet donors can donate as often as every eight days, and up to 24 times in a 12-month period."

For plasma, you can donate frequently as twice in any period of seven days, and you must have at least one rest day between donations. A person can donate more than 2 times every 7 days with at least one day interval between donations. So, you can donate plasma up to two times a week.

During each subsequent visit, a staff member checks the vital signs of the donor, to answer questions about their medical history. Before a donor is accepted Biolife Plasma Services donor program, he or she must undergo a medical examination and review of their medical history.

Donating plasma is a low risk procedure with minimal or no side effects. . Generally, the body of healthy donors can quickly replace the plasma that is removed during the donation. Source Plasma donations can be collected twice a week, while total protein and immunoglobulin levels remain within acceptable limits.

The body replaces the plasma removed during the donation process quick, therefore, a healthy person can donate as often as twice in a seven day period, with at least one day between donations. However, since the person will be able to donate plasma as often as every 48 hours, "safely", some donation centers (like CSL Plasma) may allow an individual to make more donations on a weekly schedule.

International Plasma Donation Rules

In Australia, Australian Red Cross Blood Bank allows individuals to donate plasma every two weeks, although they prefer donations a little further apart. Plasma donors in the UK can donate as often as every 28 days.

But in the United States, federal regulations provide that an individual can donate as often as two times in seven days, with at least two days between donations.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How to Prepare Before and After Plasma Donation

Q: So, What should I do to prepare properly before Donating Plasma?
Answer: Donating plasma is a low risk procedure if you prepare before hand. Avoid caffeine, smoking and drinking before plasma donating to lower your heart rate. Do not smoke a cigarette in an hour before arriving at the center to donate.

Do: Eat carbohydrate heavy foods to avoid fainting from lack of energy. Also, drink plenty of water after you donate to replenish fluids. Be well rested before your plasma donation. It is important to relax your mind before plasma donation, because high blood pressure can lead to donor rejection.

Donation rejection occurs if you have low iron levels, low levels of protein, donate with a fever above 99 degrees, or have high blood pressure.

What Not to Do After Donating Plasma

Don't carry big items for four hours after giving, and do not workout for one day. Strenuous physical exercise (activity and exercise, energy resistance training, or perhaps cardio workouts) immediately after giving, weight lifting, and also running/cardiopulmonary exercise/jumping jacks, may make the bandage come off, or even re-open the giving vein.

Particularly, do not lift weights the day following selling blood plasma for cash. In the worst case scenario, physical activity following donation can easily increase blood clotting concentrate in the donation vein. Things to not eat or drink the day following donating are alcoholic beverages, saturated fatty foods, and also tobacco smoking. Delay the urge to smoke at least an 60 minute block immediately after donation, and rather a day following donation.

Drink how much water before Donating Plasma?

Drink an extra 16 oz. juice or non-alcoholic fluids before the donation. A couple of glasses of water before you go to is also good. Basically, the water should be your go-to drink the day before and day of each plasma donation.

Water keeps hydration levels up, so be sure to drink plenty of water before and after plasma donation. I usually try to drink at least half a liter of water a day before donating and a few glasses before going to donate.

Drinking plenty of water before the donation process actually speeds up the process. Believe me, it's done wonders for my donation times. Being dehydrated means that you probably will feel bad when you donate, and your hydration levels affect how long it will take a donation. Plus, when I leave the donation center, I was not as dehydrated, because I've still got some water in my system.

Can I have caffeine / alcohol before plasma donation?

Also, avoid caffeine for better health for a smoother plasma donation process. Caffeine can cause increased heart rate, which does not make the process of plasma donation easy. If you drink juice or tea with food or snacks, make sure it is caffeine free. Avoid drinking alcohol the night before and the day of your donation, and at least four hours after donation.

Can I Take Aspirin or Other Analgesic Medication Before Donating Plasma

Bayer aspirin is a blood thinner, so it's not a good idea to donate plasma while on regular aspirin therapy. If you occasionally take aspirin tablets for headaches, or other aches and pains, you must wait 4 hours after taking aspirin to donate plasma. Ideally, don't take aspirin the day of plasma donation at all. This also goes for other headache medicines and blood thinners, like Advil, Advil PM, liquigels, capsules, powders, and sleeping pills with pain medication.

Can I donate while I'm having my period?

Yes, ladies should bare in mind that making a plasma donation when at that time of the month/menstruating is perfectly safe, with excess protective safety measures. Plasma donation can influence additional monthly period cramps, especially while dehydrated, so it's in particular essential for women facing that time of the month to drink excess water before donating. Do not donate when expectant, but, as donating whilst expecting can easily factor pregnancy difficulties, hazardously low liquid degrees, and fainting. Expecting mothers ought to hold off at least 6 months right after being born just before securely making a plasma donation again.

What Are the Best things to eat before Donating Plasma?

Eat a healthy meal before your donation. You want to eat a big meal the night before and eat something high in carbs right before you enter. Pasta is a carbohydrate-rich food especially recommended the night before donating.  Other good foods to eat before donating are macaroni with cheese, mashed potatoes, and baked or steamed vegetables.

Iron rich and protein rich foods are the best things to eat before plasma donation, foods like liver and broccoli. If you do not have enough iron in the blood the plasma donation center will reject you as a donor, at least until you get your low iron levels up.

Ok, so maybe I'm not into health food, but two days a week when I donate, you can bet that I get enough protein, vitamins, iron and carbohydrate snacks, etc, to make my body happy (and not be rejected for donation.) Needless to say, I also take iron pills before and after each donation these days to avoid rejection.

Eat a good meal before and after plasma donating. Eating healthy before plasma donation not only raises the iron levels and protein levels of blood, but it also keeps you from getting sick while donating. Eat foods rich in proteins, some before you go, too (low protein may get you rejected from plasma donating.)

Things to Avoid Eating Before Donating Plasma

Avoid fatty and high-cholesterol foods 24 hours before donation.

Avoid: foods such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Eating fatty foods before plasma donation can give your Plasma a milky appearance. Your plasma should be yellow (straw colored) to dark red color. If your plasma has a milky color, you will be banned from plasma donating that day.

Do: snack before and after. Eat healthy snacks (such as a banana or energy bar) after donating.

What to Do After Donating Plasma

Wait to take the bandage off! I've seen numerous donors who impatiently take their bandages off right after donating, then start bleeding all over the donation floor. I've also seen bandages and gauze littering the parking lot (from impatient donors who rip their arm bandages off on the way to their cars.) The bandage and gauze are there to stop bleeding, and prevent infection at the donation site. Wait at least 4 hours before taking the donation bandage off.

After plasma donating, relax your body.

Eat before and after donation, to replenish lost vitamins. Other good foods to eat after donation:

  • Green vegetables (broccoli, lettuce, spinach, kale, and celery)
  • Protein rich foods (red meat, steak, beef, pork, or plant proteins like beans and eggs)
  • Plain yogurt
  • Electrolyte drinks (Gatorade, or other sports waters with electrolytes)
  • Fruits (banana, strawberry, papaya, or pineapple)
  • Plenty of water (especially vitamin enhanced, or sugar water)

Plasma Center Rejection for Fever

If you feel a fever/high temperature coming on, but only slightly, take your temperature before going to the donation center to donate plasma. Avoid donation rejections if you're feeling sick. Upon returning, the nurses will want to know exactly when your fever breaks, because you will be banned from plasma donating for several days after your high temperature diminishes.

These are tips on how to prepare for plasma donation (and avoid reasons for rejection.)

 Good for you to donate plasma. But the fact that the donation center pays me money for plasma donating is not the only reason I continue to donate plasma long term. Just think, the money is nice, but make sure that your heart is in the right place before you donate.

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