By now, it’s pretty much established in the ETB community that plasma donation is a valid and legit way to make some extra income. A couple of posts like this one and this one from some active EarnThatBuck members have thoroughly illustrated that it’s a good option for those who may want to get up from their computer chairs, stretch, and do something in real life rather than online to earn money, for a change. As well, plasma donation actually saves lives!
And it’s good money, too - we are talking about hundreds of dollars a month (it will vary according to circumstances - more on this in a bit) with this activity. I have not done it personally (yet) but know a couple of people who have, and who swear by both how good it felt to help others and earn some money in the process. Of course, the payment will depend on how much plasma will actually be donated, and how often.
But first, what exactly is plasma?
According to a site called Donating Plasma (well duh), it is the “clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other cellular components are removed.” A significant amount of the proteins found in human plasma can help to diagnose diseases or come up with different kinds of therapies.
Plasma makes up more than 50% of the human blood, is protein-rich, and is made up of 90% water. It is in high demand because can help a lot of people with blood disorders such as those whose blood cannot clot properly (also known as hemophiliacs), those with compromised immune systems which do not respond well to antibiotics, organ transplant recipients, and most burn, trauma, and surgery patients.
Can anyone donate plasma?
Yes, practically anyone can - provided they are healthy and have the time, patience, and commitment to be a donor. However, the specific requirements for qualified plasma donors are pretty straightforward:
- Must be 18 years or older
- Must not be older than 69 years
- Must be at least 110 pounds (or 50 kilograms)
- Must comply with local government or state regulatory laws on plasma donation eligibility
- Must follow a recommended daily consumption of protein (between 50 to 80 grams a day)
- Must test negative for transmissible viruses like HIV and hepatitis
- Must pass a medical examination
- Must complete a thorough medical history screening
What is the process involved in plasma donation?
A first-time donor can expect to be at the plasma collection center for at least a couple of hours. After that, return visits to donate some more could take just an hour and a half on average.
Before the actual donation, you will be advised to hydrate yourself well by drinking plenty of water or juice. You will also need to declare any medication you are taking for any medical condition you may have.
Have a valid form of identification ready with your current photo in it, as well as your social security and proof of address. You will be checked for eligibility using your ID or other identifying documents, and then you will get your physical medical examination if it's your first time to donate. Aside from that, a blood sample will be drawn from you to determine healthy protein levels. Then you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire to evaluate your history and qualification as a donor.
Once you’ve checked for eligibility, you will be taken to a sterilized extraction room and seated on a comfortable reclining chair or bed. In the same manner as donating blood, your arm will be cleaned and prepped using an antiseptic; then the needle will be inserted to begin the extraction. The plasmapheresis process involves drawing out blood, separating the plasma from it, and red blood cells being returned to your body.
Are there risks involved?
It is a safe procedure, but yes, it’s wise to be informed and prepared for potential risks. Donors could experience some dizziness because of the blood being drawn. This is why drinking plenty of fluids is recommended prior to donating plasma.
The extraction spot on your arm could also go through some bruising, swelling, and slight itchiness or tenderness where the needle was injected. These do not usually last long, however, and it’s best to follow doctor’s orders on keeping the site clean and protected from bumping and jostling.
How much will I make from it?
To reach Qualified Donor status, you will have to satisfactorily pass two health screenings and test negative for transmissible viruses within a six-month period.
As for plasma donation compensation, it will vary per plasma collection facility. Most sources (and per my friends’ testimonies) say it will typically pay a donor around $50 per donation because these companies want to make it worth your while to donate. Some critical factors in place as to how the earnings vary include the donor’s weight - because the heavier the donor is, the more plasma will be extracted - and how often the facility allows donors to donate in succession. Someone with a Qualified Donor status can give two times within a 7-day period because of previous screenings, while other facilities will only allow plasma donation after every 28 days. It is best to canvas these facilities and ask them their rates before you commit to being a plasma donor.