One liter of plasma produces about four grams of immunoglobulin, which is used to create therapies to treat people with immune deficiencies.
While approximately 11 million liters of source plasma are donated each year in the United States, there is still a large need for donations around the world. Plasma is a required ingredient in many treatments for people with diseases like hemophilia.
You are not only helping people around the world by donating plasma, but most donation centers also pay you for your donations.
Typical rates are between $25 and $50 per donation and you can donate up to twice per week. So in a given month you could make anywhere from $200 to $400 by donating blood.
That’s up to $5,000 per year from donating blood! If you’re not afraid of needles then this could be the perfect way to earn money fast.
Find out how to donate blood for money below.
1. Make sure that you meet the requisites to donate plasma.
You must be at least 18 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Bear in mind that these are generally accepted guidelines, although any given plasma center may have slightly different requirements.
2. Find a plasma center near you.
Try doing using a search engine and searching for "donate plasma money" or something similar to locate the center nearest you. You could also check with local hospitals or clinics to see if they can help you locate a center.
3. Answer the questionnaire regarding your personal life.
On your first visit, you’ll need to complete a questionnaire concerning your medical history, sex habits, drug use, and so on. Some centers ask you to watch a video that explains the behaviors that could taint your blood.
4. Prepare for a short and brief physical.
You will be given a nominal physical examination. Expect your finger to be pricked for a quick blood test, your pulse to be checked, and your temperature to be taken.
5. Have your blood drawn.
Relax in an easy chair as blood is drawn from your arm, the plasma is extracted, and the blood is returned to your body through the same needle. This process, called plasmapheresis, takes about 45 minutes.
6. Get paid!
That’s it! Collect your fee (generally $20 to $40) and make an appointment to donate again. How often you may donate depends on the center. Some let you come in 48 hours later; others limit donations to once a month.
What is plasma?
Plasma is the liquid part of your blood that carries red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. It’s made mostly of water and proteins. Because it has so much protein in it, plasma is used to make life-saving medicines to treat patients who have experienced trauma, have bleeding disorders, have trouble fighting infections because of immune diseases and more.
How does plasma donation work?
Donating plasma is similar to giving blood. A trained staff member called a phlebotomist puts a sterile needle in your arm vein to draw blood. The blood is then cycled through special, sterile equipment that separates plasma from the other parts of your blood. Your plasma is then collected in a container, while the other parts are safely returned to your body. This process is called plasmapheresis.
Does it hurt to donate plasma?
Most people compare the feeling to a prick or a pinch like you would feel when donating blood.
Is donating plasma safe?
Yes. All material that comes in contact with your blood is sterile and used only 1 time for your plasma donation.
Are there any risks or side effects?
There are few to no side effects and minimal risk involved in donating plasma.
Some donors might experience small bruising near where the needle was put in their arm. It’s also possible you might feel a little dizzy or lightheaded after donating plasma.
How long does it take to donate plasma?
The time it takes depends on your body weight and other factors, and also whether you’re a first-time donor. Your first visit can take up to 2 hours because it includes a health screening, in-depth questionnaire and medical history to make sure you can donate plasma. After that, each visit takes less time – about an hour to an hour and a half.
How often can I donate plasma?
You can donate twice a week. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows 2 donations within a 7-day period, with at least 2 days between donations. So if you donate on a Monday, you can donate again Wednesday. Drink plenty of water after you donate to help your body replace fluids.
What is plasma used for?
Your protein-rich plasma is used to create a number of life-saving medicines that treat patients with rare, chronic and inherited diseases. These plasma-based medicines are used in emergency medicine or trauma, for bleeding disorders like hemophilia and to treat patients whose bodies have trouble fighting infections because of immune diseases.
First-Time Donors FAQs
Can I donate plasma?
In most states, you can donate plasma if you’re between 18 and 64 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health. Some states have a higher minimum age. For example, in Alabama you must be at least 19 years old.
If you have Rh-negative blood, we especially need your donations for our specialty antibody program.
Can pregnant women donate plasma?
You can’t donate plasma while you’re pregnant. Typically, you can start donating again 6 to 12 months after the end of your pregnancy. Ask your doctor if you have questions about when you can donate safely.
Can a diabetic donate plasma?
You might be able to donate plasma depending on the type and severity of your diabetes. Check with your doctor.
What kind of medical screening do you do?
We screen every potential donor to make sure you can donate plasma. During your first visit, we’ll do a health screening, which includes a review of your medical history and an in-depth health questionnaire.
After that, your plasma donation visits will take less time because we’ll do a shorter health screening just to check your red blood cell count, protein, blood pressure, pulse, temperature and weight.
What kind of drug testing do you do?
You can’t be under the influence of alcohol or drugs (for example, marijuana or meth) when you come in to donate plasma.
What will my first plasma donation visit be like?
After a staff member greets you, checks your ID and Social Security card and verifies your address, you’ll watch a short video on the plasma donation process. You’ll also answer health questions, get a check-up and be screened to make sure you can donate plasma. After your first successful plasma donation, your money will be loaded on your debit card.
What should I bring with me?
You’ll need a current, valid photo ID, your Social Security card and proof of address, such as a piece of mail postmarked in the past 30 days or a current lease. To help you pass the time, our plasma donation centers are equipped with free Wi-Fi and TVs. You can also bring books, magazines and music (with headphones, of course).
Please note phone calls and photography are not permitted in our donation centers out of respect for all our donors and their privacy.
Payment and Rewards FAQs
How much money will I make?
The amount of money you make for each successful plasma donation is based on the time it takes you to donate and other factors. Fees may vary month-to-month, by location or even for special promotions throughout the year.
What does weight have to do with how much money I make?
The amount of plasma you can donate is based on your body weight (110 to 149 pounds, 150 to 174 pounds, 175 to 400 pounds). These guidelines are set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Generally, the more you weigh, the more plasma we can collect and the longer it takes to donate it. The amount of money you make reflects this.
How do I get my money?
Your money will be credited to a debit card after each successful plasma donation.
- The first donation will take a bit longer to do the pre-screening and testing. Plan for 2-3 hours for the first time
- All subsequent donations will take anywhere between 30-60 min depending on wait times and how fast you’re able to supply blood
- To drastically reduce your wait time make an appointment (this is advised!)
- Bring something to do, donations can take 30-60 min
- Bring ID if you’re a first time donor. Typically you need:
- Divers license
- Social security card
- Proof of residency (bill or bank statement)
- Do not donate plasma before first consulting with your doctor to check for any potential medical risks from donating. While donating may work great for some, it's not a feasible option for everyone.
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