Share by e-mail Print This Post

Donate Plasma: Save a Life and Earn Money Doing It

Before you freak out and call me crazy, give me a chance. I’ve heard the horror stories about donating plasma. I know that it sounds gross, but I also know that times have changed.

It’s Safe

Not only is donating plasma regulated by the FDA as well as other agencies, but all of the equipment is completely sterile. All tools and supplies are brand new and thrown away after every use. As a matter of fact, they are so strict about donating plasma, not just anyone can donate. All applicants need to be healthy: for example, you need to meet the daily requirements for protein and iron, and you need to weigh at least 110 lbs. Additionally, each applicant has to go through a series of screenings from medical history to an examination to a blood test. To read more about the tests and safety of donating check here.

It’s Painless

For me there is no more pain involved in donating plasma than there is in making a routine donation of blood. That being said, if you have a hard time getting your blood taken, this might not be for you. Applicants need to have good veins because the needles used are a bit larger than the needles used when withdrawing blood. Also, take into consideration that the needle will be in place longer because they are withdrawing a larger amount of fluids. However, as you donate regularly, you build up scar tissue and soon don’t even feel the prick of the needle. While the initial visit, which involves a physical and paperwork, can take up to three hours, subsequent visits take an hour to an hour and a half. Of that hour, only 40 minutes will be actual donating. Each time you come to donate, plan on a finger prick and screening questions to ensure donor health. After donating, you’ll receive sterile saline through the same needle to replace the plasma. Some facilities will provide refreshments and even child care services so you can focus on the donation process.

Get Paid

Because donating plasma is a time-consuming process and the world needs donors to ensure supplies, facilities are willing to compensate the donor for his or her time. While the rates vary, you can make up to $250 a month! Here’s a website that says they’ll pay you anywhere from $20 to $35 per visit.  Here’s one that says they’ll pay up to $200 a month. After you donate, it takes around 48 hours for your body to replace the plasma as long as you are eating and drinking healthily. Federal regulations say that you can donate plasma up to twice a week, with 48 hours in between donations. However, take that information with caution. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. If you feel extremely weak after donating or get sick easily after, you should probably space out your donation times.

Save Lives

Lastly, but certainly most important is the fact that you are contributing to saving a person’s life when you donate plasma. There are numerous conditions requiring plasma: bleeding disorders, shock, organ transplants, burns, and rabies prevention, just to name a few. By taking the few hours to donate plasma every week, month, or even year, you are helping someone. I can’t tell you of all the stories of people who were on the verge of death but received the plasma they needed and were given a second chance.  If you want to learn more about the ways your plasma may be used, you can read more here.

While donating plasma is certainly not for everyone, it could be beneficial to your family. Whether you use the money for clothes, groceries, gas, or to pay your way through college, the important thing is that you’re helping someone else. If you’re interested in donating plasma, you can find a location near you here. Just click “find donor center,” type in your zip code, and see what facilities are near you.

This has been a guest post by August from Granite Falls, NC
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

Leave a Reply

13 thoughts on “Donate Plasma: Save a Life and Earn Money Doing It”

  1. La Chell says:

    Back when me and my now ex-husband were starting out with a house full of young children my husband donated plasma twice a week for several years. He found a location close to his work and brought a book in with him to pass the time. That extra money sure came in handy with us as we were living solely off of his income.

    I would love to donate now for the pure pleasure of the gift it is but I am unable to due to an auto-immune disease. Yah! to all of those who take the time to donate–you are making a very worthy contribution:)

  2. Are there any good donating places in the Seattle, Washington area?

  3. Donating plasma is clearly not for everyone. I am glad that KCL decided to post this article because it gives good information if you are looking at making some extra income and are not the squeamish type. I have been donating plasma for the last 2+ years and all of the money that I make from my two weekly donations goes towards my couponing. We are a family of five with one income and I attend full-time college courses so money is tight. But with the plasma donations and couponing it has given us the cushion that we needed.

    When it comes down to deciding if donating plasma is right for you, give it a try and see for yourself. Because not everyone is going to have a pleasant experience so there will be horror stories; and there will be successful stories too!! :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is there anywhere to do this in the St Louis area?

  5. Beyauna Billings says:

    Plasma centers do not use the blood for patients in need. Because they pay for blood the FDA states that they are not allowed to use it as a ‘drug’ fit for human consuption. Plasma donated at plasma centers goes to research and  beauty product testing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    ive been donating since i was in my early twenties and have always done so through our blood bank. what kind of place is this. do they sell or give the plasma to the people in need

    • It’s not just one place. They are all over the country. They pay for your time to donate the plasma, because it can be lengthy, and then it is used for medical needs.

  7. Erik Sanburn says:

    I’ve donated off and on for several years. Started in Kansas and now donate in California. The facility here let’s me bring in my phone which is nice.

  8. Todd Jackson says:

    Not always painless.  No cell phones allowed in donor area.  If you had the Hep A/B Shots, you may qualify for more money.

  9. Audra Karlinsey says:

    I donated twice a week for about a year before decided to have another baby. It was the best 2 hours of my day. Relaxing, no kids, watch tv or read a book, and get money. Just drink a TON of water the day before. Eat good and get enough sleep and you should be good. Don’t watch the needle go in and the pain lasts a second!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I disagree with the painless. We started donating and quickly stopped. Even though my veins are very easy to see I was constantly swollen and at one point had a serious painful/gross patch where they were not hitting my veins. I went to my family doctor and he said they shouldn’t have had any problem that he see’s a lot of people who are complaining of the same things I were and his opinion was they’re just not paying attention the way they should. So I’d suggest finding a very relaxed and EXPERIENCED staff when/if you choose to do this. This is just my experience and as great a deed it is, sometimes $40-$60 a week isn’t worth what you’ll go through in the process.

  11. Munny Maker says:

    i donated today… been doing it for a year now… it’s easy and painless! :)