Are you planning to donate your plasma and looking for more information on the process? If yes, several questions may pop up in your mind, like where can you find the best plasma donation centers?
Can you donate plasma for money? Is donating plasma for money, a good way to make some extra income? How do to get paid for plasma donation?
What are the plasma donation side effects? Is plasma donation safe? What are the plasma donation requirements?
If these are some of your questions, don’t worry. You will get your answers right here in this article.
What Is Blood Plasma?
Our blood comprises red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, other cellular components, and water. Water makes 55% of the blood composition.
When you remove the cellular components from the blood, what remains is the plasma.
Plasma comprises about 90% water, plus salts, minerals, and enzymes. It has antibodies to fight infections and proteins such as albumin and fibrinogen.
Plasma also has growth hormones that help your muscles and bones grow. It contains clotting factors to stop bleeding when you get a cut.
Plasma helps in circulating all these essential elements to different cells of the body. It helps to maintain normal blood pressure and blood volume levels. It also gets rid of the chemical waste from body cells.
How Plasma Donation Is Different From Blood Donation?
Donating plasma and donating blood is essentially the same process, but there’s a key difference.
Donating blood gets considered an act of charity, whereas donating plasma is an act of commerce. In simple words, you get paid when you donate plasma, but not with blood.
Most countries discourage paying donors for blood. They consider paying for blood donation would jeopardize the safety of the blood supply.
No one with any critical illness is eligible to donate blood, but authorities worry that if money gets paid, donors might lie about their health and risk other’s lives.
This is not the case with plasma donation. Plasma donation involves drawing blood from the donor, separate blood cells and other cellular components from it to get the plasma extract, and then transfuse the remaining blood components back to the donor.
Plasma collected this way, never goes straight into another person’s blood. Along the way, these components get processed to remove or kill any bacteria and viruses. So the risk of inheriting infections from the donor is null.
What To Expect When You Sell Plasma?
If you plan to be a plasma donor, it’s easy to get started. Plasma centers advertise a lot using social media, billboards, mailers, online, and print ads. These links will lead you to the respective websites where you need to read all the terms and conditions and sign-in.
You will then fix up your appointment and visit the centers on a specific date and time. You must carry all the required documents. We will discuss these documents a little later in this article.
You need to fill out an extensive health history on a computer or a paper form. You will also undergo a physical examination.
The actual donation can start once you qualify as a plasma donor. You will recline on a comfortable chair and the qualified staff will start the process. You will feel the same as donating blood, and it won’t hurt at all.
The entire process can take up to two hours to finish. After its complete, you will get your payment.
We will discuss the details of the plasma donation process later in this article.
How Much Is Plasma Worth?
Today, plasma has become a medical necessity. Like blood, plasma is essential in saving many lives, so for the recipient, there is no price tag on it. Companies that collect plasma, get a significant price selling it.
These days, a liter of plasma that costs a company about $150 to collect and the process could sell to a recipient for $500. Because of this high markup, these companies are happy to pay the donors.
For donors, donating plasma can be an excellent source of extra income.
Every facility has a different fee structure. Most places offer somewhere between $25 to $50 per donation (depending on how much you donate). Some plasma donation centers even have referral bonuses to recruit more donors.
What Are The Benefits of Donating Plasma?
Plasma donation benefits are twofold. Not only will you earn money, but you’ll play an integral role in helping save someone’s life.
Companies use plasma in a variety of treatments, including respiratory disorders, immune systems, bleeding, wound healing, and blood transfusions. They also use it in the treatment of cancer and a traumatic injury.
What Are The Challenges Of Selling Plasma?
1- The donation process consumes a lot of time
The biggest challenge of plasma donors is the time they must spend in donating process.
A single visit can take at least two hours to complete. If you plan to donate plasma regularly, then be ready to spend this time at the center. For first-time donors, the time spent is more than their subsequent visits.
2- Not everyone can donate
The other challenge is not everyone can donate. A plasma donor must be at least 18 years old and weighs at least 50 kilograms or 110 pounds, regardless of gender. Even if you qualify, you may not be eligible to donate plasma every time you visit the plasma donation center.
On certain days, you may not be healthy enough to donate. You may have a low iron level or your blood pressure, heartbeat, or pulse rate may not be ideal.
You will only know this after you visit the center and let the staff do your checkup. If they declare you unfit, you may need to return without donating. By that time, you would waste one hour performing all the formalities of the checkup procedure.
Ideally, if you visit the center three times a week, then be ready to return at least once without donating.
3- Your health may take a toll
The last challenge could be your health. If you donate plasma regularly, you must maintain a healthy lifestyle. You must remain on a healthy diet with a good amount of proteins, vitamins, iron, minerals, and other health supplements.
This can cost you equivalent to one plasma donation. So, you must maintain a balance between how much you earn and how much it costs you to be on a healthy diet.
It is essential to understand the importance of nutritional requirements. If you do it right, chances are you will pass the screening test more often.
How Much Can You Earn Donating Plasma?
As a plasma donor, the money you can make varies from $25 to $50 per visit. The range depends on certain factors.
1- How often you donate
Most plasma donation centers allow the donors to visit twice or thrice a week, with a one-day waiting period between the visits. However, it’s not a guaranty that you will qualify to donate on every visit. On certain days, you may be unfit to donate.
2- How much you donate
The amount you can donate lies in proportion to your weight. For example, a 300 pounds donor gets paid more than a donor who weighs 150 pounds. This because the plasma extracted from the former will be in a higher quantity.
3- Duration of the visit
The first-time donors spend more time on the donation and they get compensated more. So if you are a first-time donor and spend two hours in the donation center, you get paid $50, which is $25 per hour. However, your subsequent visits may only earn you $20 per hour.
4- Type of plasma
If you have a certain protein in your plasma that’s in high demand, the centers may offer to pay you more.
5- Referral programs
Some plasma donation centers run referral programs where you can refer a friend or relative and earn $5 to $10 on each referral.
Many established and reputed plasma donation centers claim that you can earn a few hundred dollars a month. This can be true.
If we calculate this considering the best likely scenario, then two successful visits of $50 can get you $100 a week which sums up to $400 a month. If you are lucky to get referral bonuses, the figure can bounce to $500.
Besides, you get bound to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy free health checkups every time you visit the centers.
Isn’t it a great deal?
The compensation methods may vary, but most centers use a prepaid debit card as the mode of payment.
You may also get paid through the center’s in-house rewards program where you win points and later redeem them for cash, merchandise, or other prizes.
Who Can Donate Plasma?
Not everyone can donate plasma. You get eligible only if you meet certain requirements.
The basic prerequisites to donate plasma are.
- You must be between 18-69 years.
- Weigh over 110 pounds.
- Pass a basic physical examination and be free from any infectious diseases.
- Have proper levels of hemoglobin, iron, and other essential elements of the blood.
- Possess a legal government ID or Social Security Card.
These rules may change depending on the state you’re in.
Sometimes the local laws can even override the center’s requirements. For example, some states have rules that prohibit donors with tattoos or piercings.
On a certain visit, if you don’t qualify to donate, the center may postpone or cancel your enrollment.
Postponement can happen if you’re sick or recovering from a recent illness. The center will advise you on how to recover, and when you can visit back to donate.
The cancellation can be because of your age, weight, or if you have certain medical conditions that can have negative impacts on you or anyone who would receive your blood plasma.
You can try to overturn a center’s permanent deferral if you think they gave it in error. To overturn their decision, you need to get a second medical consultation.
How To Prepare Yourself For Plasma Donation?
If you decide to be a plasma donor, you must be careful of these things:
1- Avoid any surgical operations
If you had any recent surgery, depending upon the date and type of surgery, you may get disqualified to donate.
2- Take a healthy diet
You must follow a healthy diet plan for at least one month before your first donation appointment. Eat iron-enriched cereals and fruits like raisins and watermelon.
Eating meat, fish, dairy, eggs, beans, and seeds will give you the protein, iron, and vitamins you need. You must avoid fatty foods as they might increase the cholesterol levels in your plasma.
What Are The Documents You Must Carry To Plasma Donation Center?
Once the donation center confirms your appointment, you must carry certain documents as proof of your identity.
The documents can vary across centers. I have listed here the basic ones.
- SSN: Most centers ask for social security number IDs.
- Photo ID: Some centers demand a driving license (DL), passport, military ID, or state-issued ID.
- Student’s ID: Students can bring their ID with their date of birth certificate.
- Address Proof: If you have a non-state ID, you may need current address proof.
- VISA: If you are a non-US citizen, you must need a Visa.
What To Do The Night Before Selling Plasma?
The night before the donation is extremely important to make you fit for the procedure.
You must ensure to:
1- Get a calm sleep
Try to sleep 7-9 hours that night. Fatigue can affect your blood composition negatively. It’s better to be proactive and make sure you are well-rested.
2- Drink extra water
One of the side effects of donating plasma is dehydration. To avoid this, ensure to drink plenty of water the night before and the day of your appointment. Hydration will help ensure your veins are in good condition to donate. This is especially important in summers.
3- Eat a well-balanced diet
Never head to plasma donation without eating a well-balanced diet. If you do so, you may fail the screening test. It is essential to understand the importance of nutritional requirements. If you do it right, you will pass the screening test with each donation.
How Much Time Does It Take At Plasma Donation Centers?
Your first visit will take longer than the subsequent ones. The first donation may take around two hours because you must undergo the documentation process.
The technician or nurse will examine you to ensure you are healthy enough to donate plasma.
Return visits should only take around an hour or max an hour and a half.
If you weigh more, the process will take a little longer because you’ll be donating more plasma (and get paid more).
Usually, for each visit, you can expect to spend anywhere between one to two hours at the plasma donation center.
How Does The Donation Process Look Like?
Each center may have separate procedures, especially for registration and medical screening. However, most centers follow the process mentioned below.
A- When You Get To The Plasma Donation Center
When you visit a donation center, the staff will greet you and ask you to provide your ID. (We have discussed these documents earlier).
The staff will then review your medical history. You will undergo a physical examination/medical screening to verify your eligibility as a donor.
They will test you for viruses, like HIV, Hepatitis, and your protein and hemoglobin levels. You also need to do some paperwork.
If you pass the examination and meet the donor requirements, they will start the process of actual donation.
B- Process During The Plasma Donation
Donating plasma is very similar to donating blood, but also very different in some ways.
The donation process has three straightforward phases. You will recline on a comfortable chair, and the nurse will start the procedure.
- Disinfect the arm and draw your blood.
- Separate the plasma from the blood.
- Inject the separated blood cells back into your body.
While blood donation may take just ten minutes, donating plasma takes much longer.
Plasmapheresis is the medical term used for extracting plasma from the blood. It is done by a machine that removes plasma from the whole blood. Plasma is collected separately and the rest of the portion of the blood is infused back into your body.
Is It Painful To Donate Plasma?
Is the plasma donation process painful? This is a common concern among plasma donors.
Some donors describe plasma donation as slightly more painful than donating blood. Others agree that there is not much difference.
The needle will cause some pain when injected. There may be a slight discomfort, but it’s no more painful than donating blood.
The needle remains in place for a duration of 40 to 60 minutes. You may expect slight bruising at the injection site.
If you feel more pain or discomfort, inform the attending personnel right away.
What To Do After Donating Plasma?
The first thing you wait for after the donation is your payment, but don’t get too excited about it.
First, you must relax for about 5 to 7 minutes on the chair. Your body will try to make up for the lost vitals, so it’s important to rest and give it time to avoid adverse reactions.
To speed up the re-hydration, consider the following things:
- Drink a lot of water or any liquid you are fond of. Liquids help you to re-hydrate faster.
- After reaching home, take a rest for some time and also avoid heavy work during the day.
- On that day eat healthy meals full of proteins and iron.
- Avoid smoking or alcohol for at least a few hours after the plasma donation.
Are There Any Risks And Side Effects Of Plasma Donation?
There are no risks involved in plasma donation. However, minor side effects like bruising, dizziness, and fatigue may show up for some donors.
In rare cases, a few people may show some serious side effects. These include:
- An allergic reaction in the arms or full body.
- An infection from the needle.
- Injury to the nerve from the needle when inserted or withdrawn.
- An arterial puncture if the vein is injected several times.
- Numbness and pulse fluctuation resulting from a citrate reaction.
Trained medical staff are ready to treat any allergic reactions. If you feel any discomfort, immediately address your concerns with them.
How Often Can You Donate Plasma?
If you want to be a regular plasma donor, you must know the limits to the number of times you can donate.
It can vary across the plasma donation centers.
American Red Cross only lets you donate once in 28 days. Whereas private centers allow you to donate up to twice or thrice in seven days with at least one day gap.
Before donating, you must check with the center to see how often they allow.
The general rule is, no more than three times a week with a gap of at least 24 hours. That gives your body enough time to replace the lost plasma.
How To Find Reputed Plasma Donation Centers?
The FDA inspects plasma donation centers for compliance but never manages them. So, when considering any plasma donation centers, you must confirm if they are licensed by the International Quality Plasma Program (IQPP).
You must also read online reviews from other donors. It’s always better to get an idea if the center you consider, has a good reputation among donors.
Negative reviews, like unprofessional staff, excessive wait time, and cleanliness could be the indicators, and it would be better off going elsewhere.
You can also take the help of this tool to find the plasma donation centers near you.
25 Highest Paying Plasma Donation Centers
There are several plasma donation centers across the US. To get you the best ones and save your efforts, I have curated the list of the highest paying plasma donation centers.
CSL Plasma ranks among the world’s topmost collectors of blood plasma. They have a supply chain to several hospitals across America and other countries.
You can earn up to $500 per month from CSL Plasma. They credit the money to a prepaid debit card.
CSL Plasma also has an award system. They provide you iGive points for every donation. These points are redeemable for cash.
Click on this link and enter your ZIP code to locate their nearest collection center.
BPL Plasma is UK-based and is a part of Bio Products Laboratories. BPL Plasma has several plasma centers located across the USA where you can schedule an appointment for your plasma donation.
They pay up to $300 per month to regular donors. You can also earn more money through the referral program.
They have a Buddy Raffle program that enables you to earn rewards. If a relative or friend accompanying you also donate plasma, you get one entry to the raffle draw.
The draw has the first prize of $200, the second of $150, and the third prize of $100.
You can locate their centers by entering your ZIP code.
BioLife Plasma Services is part of Takeda biotechnological company which specialize in the treatment of rare and life-threatening disease.
The company operates several plasma donation centers across America and Austria.
You can donate plasma twice a week and make $20 to $50 per visit. The company pays you with a BioLife debit card.
They claim their donation process to be very efficient. You will only spend about 30 minutes at their collection centers after your first donation.
You can find the nearest plasma donation center by entering your state on their website.
Biotest Plasma Center has 26 plasma donation centers across 11 states in the US.
You can make up to $400 per month by donating plasma at their centers. The company has a referral program and also runs attractive monthly promotions across its network of centers.
With Octapharma, you can earn up to $400 per month depending upon the frequency of donations and promotions during any period. The company runs special promotions across its centers to offer attractive gifts or cash rewards.
Octapharma has a special promotion that offers $50 compensation for the first five donations to first-time donors. This makes you earn $250 extra.
They also have an OPI Rewards+ Program that allows regular donors to earn extra money. Their referral program also lets you earn more.
On their home page, you can find an Octapharma plasma donation center nearby by giving ZIP or state.
With Kedplasma, you can earn about $400 per month. The company offers a special program- Anti D for people living in and around Buffalo, NY, and has a negative blood group.
They pay you through a Wirecard prepaid card after every donation.
You can donate plasma at 22 centers in various states. The list of their centers is present on the home page of their website.
Immunotek’s website has no information about how much they pay their plasma donors. They claim that the donor compensation varies depending on the center.
The company offers a $20 coupon for every successful referral you make.
They currently operate 15 centers across the US and are planning to open 11 more shortly.
B Positive Plasma pays $500 per month to regular plasma donors. You can also earn from referrals.
They have two plasma donation centers in Maryland and New Jersey.
You will receive a reloadable B Positive debit card for quick payments.
With Grifols, you can earn around $200 per month as a regular donor. You can increase the earnings through referrals.
They have a global presence in over 30 countries and are the industry leaders in the production of plasma-derived and transfusion medicines.
GCAM Plasma pays $25 to $30 per plasma donation. The company also operates a loyalty program for returning donors.
They operate 15 plasma centers across 5 states in the US. Five more centers are coming shortly. Residents of Canada and Mexico can also donate at their centers.
A Few More Reputed Plasma Donation Centers
If you find difficulties in locating the plasma centers from the above companies, here are a few more centers you can try. These are also IQPP Certified and follow FDA norms.
International Plasma Donation Centers
How DonatingPlasma.org Can Help?
DonatingPlasma.org is a great website to check out every detail of the Plasma Donation Process. It has a vast database of plasma donation centers in every country.
Enter your city and/or zip code into the search box, and you can view tons of centers near you.
Plasma donation centers follow very strict standards. You must read and follow all instructions before donating. If you have any doubt, contact your general physician for advice.
The significant thing about plasma donation is, you make money and also help medical care experts create life-saving medications for patients struggling with serious health conditions.
That’s it from me. If you are interested to donate plasma, try these tips and share your feedback comments.
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out, I am glad to answer your queries!
Best of luck!