- Apr 16, 2018
I have a friend who has made donating blood a personal advocacy. Whenever someone on her Facebook feed asks for blood donors, you can bet she’d be the first to offer. I had the chance to talk to her about her advocacy when she and I both donated blood at the same time. She doesn’t work in healthcare, but she said that by donating blood, she felt like she was helping people get better. Can’t argue with that.
She also told me that she also donated plasma and, surprisingly, sometimes earned by donating. She got paid for the first time when she showed up at a hospital looking to donate blood to a friend. When the hospital informed her that her friend already checked out, they mentioned that some clinics have paid plasma donation drives. And that’s how it started.
When you donate whole blood, you have to wait about eight weeks. With plasma, you can donate twice a week. My friend still donates blood for free, but I still think donating plasma, even if you get paid for it, is such a huge boon to those who need it.
Plasma is valuable, life-saving stuff. It’s used to treat patients suffering from burns, shock, and trauma, as well as rare chronic diseases such as autoimmune disorders and hemophilia. Without plasma, these patients may not make it.
There’s a big demand for plasma. And with money getting harder and harder to come by, we may sometimes have to look to drastic measures, such as donating plasma, to supplement our income. I don’t think there’s anything ethically wrong with getting paid to donate. You’re still providing a valuable service to those who need it. I consider this a win-win situation.
Just remember that there’s a proper way to donate plasma. There are legitimate donation centers and clinics where you can give plasma. One such clinic is BioLife Plasma (Link: https://biolifeplasma.com), which has establishments all over the United States.
After talking to my friend, I decided to donate plasma to BioLife. Since you can donate plasma more frequently than whole blood, I made good money. For a few months, I donated as much plasma as they’d let me. I made up to $260 on each of those months. And best of all, it’s no more inconvenient or painful than donating whole blood… although it helps greatly if you’re not afraid of needles.
If donating plasma sounds like something you’d like to try, read on for more info on the process.
Understandably, not anyone who walks in the clinic’s door can donate right away. To be able to donate plasma, you’ll have to pass a screening test and meet certain requirements.
These requirements include:
- You be at least 18 years old, but not older than 69 years of age.
- Weight no less than 110 pounds.
- Not be obese. Being formally labelled obese depends on one’s height-to-weight ratio, so be sure to check with your doctor or nutritionist.
- Be in reasonably good health. This means having a normal blood pressure, and no pre-existing conditions. It also helps if you lead a generally healthy lifestyle, eat nutritious food and get lots of exercise.
You will also be given the requisite health screening to ensure that you don’t carry any communicable diseases. It seems like a lot, but the stringent requirements are there to filter out people who aren’t qualified to donate.
To learn more about BioLife’s donation requirements, check out their eligibility page:
Donating and Plasma Extraction
If you meet all the above qualifications, congratulations. You can now donate plasma. I would recommend that you increase your water and protein intake whenever you plan to donate.
You will be tested each time you donate (yep, being subjected to lots of tests goes with the territory), and your protein levels must fall within an acceptable range. It’s recommended that male donors get 56 grams of protein, while female donors get 46 grams.
Also, acing all your tests doesn’t give you an excuse to slack off and neglect maintaining your good health. If anything, passing the screening tests should be a kind of encouragement!
As mentioned earlier, extracting plasma is no different from extracting blood… actually, they’re pretty much the same. They extract whole blood from you, and the plasma is separated by spinning the sample in a centrifuge.
Plasma Donation Centers
There are legit clinics all over the country where you can donate, but I only have experience with one: BioLife. During the times I donated, they were friendly, professional, and explained every step of the donation process clearly. There was never a moment in BioLife where I felt uncomfortable.
BioLife has clinics in most states and cities in the United States. You can find a branch in their locator page: https://biolifeplasma.com/us/#/about-biolife/our-centers
If you’d prefer going to a different center, you can check DonatingPlasma’s locator page: https://www.donatingplasma.org/donation/find-a-donor-center
Avoid shady, fly-by-night clinics at all cost. Who knows what disease you might pick up by donating at those clinics? I suggest checking if a clinic is IQPP (International Quality Plasma Program) certified.
Also, and this is the elephant in the room, I would recommend that you look at how much these centers pay for plasma donations. You’ll want to be compensated as much as possible for your contribution.
Each donation center will have its own payment rates. But a good average is around $20 to $25 on your first week, then $30 to $45 for succeeding weeks. Donation centers put a premium on repeat or regular donors, which is why the prices increase the longer you keep donating.
With BioLife, I made $260 a month, which is about mid-range.
Some centers also give gifts and rewards in addition to cash payments. These clinics really want to incentivize donors, mainly because plasma cannot be synthesized.
How do you get paid?
More often than not, you will get paid in cash immediately after the plasma extraction process.
At BioLife, you get a MasterCard debit card where payment is automatically credited after your session. You can withdraw your funds on most ATMs. I like this a lot, because you don’t have to fumble with cheques or physical cash. It’s a modern and convenient way to get paid.
The Verdict: Legit or Scam?
BioLife is legit! They were professional, and I got paid good money helping others. This may not be a money-making option for everyone, but you should still consider it.
This review is based on my own experiences donating plasma. Now it’s your turn to share. Have you also donated plasma? Where did you donate, and how much did you get paid?
Let’s hear your stories!