Donation on plasma is not as common or frequently talked about as blood donation. You tend to hear about it more when there are natural disasters and increased need for plasma. However, plasma donations are always required. Plasma donation differs from blood donation, in the sense that the blood is taken from the body, plasma is separated from it and the blood is then returned to the body. This might make you wonder, "Does donating plasma hurt?" It is a little painful and takes an hour for the procedure to complete. Here we shall discuss the pros and cons of donating plasma before you actually start doing it.

Pros of Donating Plasma

In pros and cons of donating plasma, let us first look at the pros of donating plasma.

Help Other People in Need

Health conditions due to natural disasters increases the requirement for plasma. Such cases are usually life threatening, and readily available plasma donations help in saving lives of people who otherwise would have been difficult to save. It is one of the best ways to help other people.


Reduce Your Risk to Serious Health Conditions

Although researchers are unable to understand why and how, people who donate plasma regularly have lowered risk of developing conditions like cardiovascular disease later on in life.


Help Save Many People

Donated plasma is usually given to patients suffering from leukemia, had organ transplant or are burn victims. The treatment or healing of such conditions without plasma becomes very difficult and might be ineffective. Donated blood plasma is a lifeline for kids suffering from leukemia – an option that wasn't always available.


Donate Plasma Is Safe

Depending on the current health status of people, they may not be accepted in plasma donation drives. People with high blood pressure or impaired vital signs are not allowed to donate plasma. This is to protect the health of the donor as well as the potential recipient of the plasma.


Can Be Extra Income When Required

Blood donations are not paid; however, for plasma donation a person receives monetary compensation. The limit of donations is 2 times per week, and if a person meets the criteria, they can get up to $200 per month. Other options are vouchers, gift cards or food certificates, things which have associated with cash value.

Cons of Donating Plasma

In this section we will look at the cons of donating plasma.

It Can Be Tiring for the Body

Donating plasma sometimes is safe; however, over a period of time it can wear out the body. They can have collapsed veins or it might take longer duration to find veins for donation, especially in people who regularly donate. The donation center does not allow a patient to leave unless they are physically fit, and these conditions might make them stay back longer.


It Can Be Uncomfortable or Scary

When a person donates plasma for the first time, they need to answer a questionnaire with very personal questions, some of them related to the sexual history as well. Also, plasma donation can be done only when a person is fully hydrated and hence is asked to drink two glasses of water before donating.


Can Have Negative Effect on Long Term Health

This problem does not occur if the plasma donations are done sometimes; however, in case of regular donations, there can be some damage. Regular donation can cause 10% decrease in the antibody production levels in the human body.


It Leaves You Dehydrated

Plasma is water based and hence when plasma donation happens, it leaves the body dehydrated. It can cause vomiting, dizziness and also fainting.


Calcium Stores Are Decreased

To separate the plasma from the blood, some donation centers make use of anti-coagulants. This makes the process faster and easier; however, these anti-coagulants remove the calcium from the blood. If this calcium isn't replaced before returning the blood to the body, there will be short and long term health effects on the plasma donors.


You Will Have To Face Needles

Some people cannot bear to have needles poked in their body, while some people just do not like the idea of giving away a part of their body. In the donation process, a needle will remain inserted in the body for at least 30 minutes and you will have to bear with it.

FAQs for Donating Plasma

Now that you have read the pros and cons of donating plasma, you might have many questions running through your mind. Given below are answers to the most frequently asked questions. You can ask your doctor to resolve your queries before you actually donate.

How often can you donate plasma?

The donated plasma is replaced by the body within 24 – 48 hours, since it is composed of around 90% water. You can donate plasma two times in a week but not on consecutive days. You should drink plenty of water and keep themselves hydrated.


How long does it take to donate plasma?

For a first time donor, you have to undergo a physical examination and can take up to two and half hours for the first session of donation. If you are a return donor, it can take up to an hour and half for the donation process.


What should you do after the donation?

Once the donation is made, you should drink plenty of fluids and have light snacks. It is advised to refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol for few hours. The donation site should be kept clean and bandage should be removed after two hours. In case of dizziness, you should lie down, cool the neck and forehead and get a cold beverage. If any symptoms continue,you should consult a doctor.


Can you donate if you are pregnant?

Pregnant women are not allowed to donate plasma and will be allowed to donate plasma only after the delivery, with permission from the doctor.


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  • Neil MihelichJan.1 19:10
    I just donated for the first time at a Grifols donation center in Penn Hills, PA. I had no problems at all, but it did take a good 3 hours due to the physical examination, plethora of questions, informative video, and wait for other donors. The actual plasma withdrawal takes 45 minutes to an hour, but it was very comfortable. The staff was friendly, you are allowed to text or surf the internet on your phone, and they have flat screen T.V.'s to keep you entertained. During your donation, they encourage you to squeeze a stress ball because it helps the blood flow faster. Also, they will wipe the puncture site with iodine, administer an anti coagulant that can potentially give you a metallic taste in your mouth, and give you a saline solution at the end to help with hydration. The saline solution will feel cold, but not unpleasant. They collected 880 ml of plasma from me since I weigh over 175 (185). All in all, it was a good experience. Made 65 bucks and helped others in the process. You can donate twice a week and you get money bonuses for referring other donors as well.
  • MattNov.23 04:26
    I have gone 78 times this year. Its hard on the body, helps people but places like csl are shady. Hope this helps
  • TimNov.20 23:39
    I've been donating for 2 months now I don't notice any side effects just drink lots of water and make sure you eat before you go
  • BradNov.16 04:14
    Been donating 5 years . The first year of it my body felt drained every time I got done . Now they have to give saline solution injected in you through the plasma needle .fda I believe After the saline , it almost eliminateseems that crap feeling . I've read in the past year some were I can't find it that plasma has to do with your mood as like a stabilizer . I've noticed I've felt a lot more on the edge and depressed then I should be. Other then that I've donated over 370 times and Im an active runner and healthy
  • J keetonOct.30 13:13
    I donated plasma. They said I couldn't give. Said I had high protein in my blood. They gave me no warning about high protein in the blood. Only said I couldn't give any more. Now I am being checked for cancer. Shouldn't they have told me?
  • KAug.31 03:33
    I donate one week and off next week is my new plan I'll follow up on theory , I notice a lot of regulars look like they need to eat , side note guys 50 bux first five times so you. Can either rush 2 times a week or once a week for 5 weeks would be the best way .
  • KAug.31 03:29
    I donated 5 times so far first two times was same week, it was fine a little tired that weekend but I'm pretty active person second consecutive week I was completely drained like a Zombie I drank 6 32 oz gatorades and tons of calcium and potassium intact , I donated today before I went I drank two 32 oz waters and a 32 oz Gatorade had a zeal protein drink with a 4 egg 6 slice bacon 4 toast and two waffle haha 157 lbs xD hungry boy , I felt great today donating I did go home eat some noodles and grilled chicken and drank 14 oz of Gatorade I cleaned the car out vacuumed and detailed it turned on game of thrones watched an episode and took a 2 HR nap Rest of my day was productive , if you stayed this long to read " Urgent Drink Gatorade NOT Just Water .. Water has no potassium value aka elutriates which you need to have energy to go ! Cause water will hydrate you yes but your body will be dED
  • DesireeAug.25 23:19
    I have donated 3 times now and noticed that I am tired and dizzy a few hours after i have donated but I think this is my fault because I did not hydrate or eat afterwards. I am going to try going later in the day when I can go home, eat and rest afterwards.
  • Julie HowardAug.25 16:28
    I've given a few times now. It took a long time the first time as they have to set you up. After that, the wait is better, but you still have to make sure you have a couple of hours available. For me, it does wipe me out for 3 - 5 days. It does help to drink water, but regardless, I do feel the effects. Tiredness, Weakness and Nausea. I don't regret doing it. I think it's worth doing at least once to help people. I don't think I'm a good candidate for regular giving. My goal was to maybe give once a month or quarterly. I'm don't think I will now after I looked at the pay scale with CSL. The first 5 donations within 45 days they pay you $50 per donation. After that, it dropped to $15 for the 1st time in a week. If you go back for a 2nd donation within that week, the payout is slightly higher, maybe $20 or $25. For me, that's not worth the time and tiredness. I did find another plasma center that pays more, but it's in a rougher part of town. They pay $60 for first donation, then $30 per donation. I have to ask myself if it's worth the risk of getting shot to earn $30. I don't think so. However, this would be more reasonable and worth it to get an extra $30 for a one time donation. Like a said, the $15 seems like peanuts. I don't think it's worth it for me to give 2x per week. I do think it's great though for people who don't have physical problems to do it and help others, while getting a little extra cash.
  • Cgutts Aug.11 09:40
    I donated for the first time this feel a bit tingly and weak immediately after, but a few hours later after fluids and a meal, I felt perfectly fine. And I'm all of 113 lbs. I just did my 2nd donation of the week....I wish I had waited more than 48 hours between donations. ....felt a little more light-headed this second time but after I ate a meal, I felt perfectly fine. No regrets whatsoever.
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