Selling Plasma For Money – Here Is What To Expect
Have you ever heard your parents say “I’m not made of money!” when you asked them to buy you something?
Well, they’re sort of wrong.
In fact, you have money quite literally flowing through your veins!
I’m talking about your blood plasma, of course.
Demand for plasma is always high for many reasons:
- Treating rare diseases such as immunodeficiency disorders
- Treating trauma
- Treating burn victims and those who are in shock
And so, donating your plasma in your spare time could be a nice extra income stream if you’re comfortable with needles.
But how does it all work?
How do you qualify?
And of course, how much can you make?
Read on to get the low down about how to exchange your precious plasma for some just-as-precious dollar bills.
How Much Can You Get For Your Plasma?
Your biggest concern is probably how much you can make by sticking a needle in your arm and having your precious plasma sucked out of you.
Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty good. It can easily turn into a nice source of side income for when you need money quickly.
The average amount you can make for one donation is anywhere between $20 and $50, depending on the amount of plasma you’re able to donate.
Some places will even give you bonus cash for your first donation or two!
And if the whole process (including paperwork and waiting) takes under 2 hours to complete, then you’re making a solid hourly rate.
Of course, compensation can be even higher if your plasma contains special antibodies or other in-demand rarities.
Important to note: plasma donation centers typically give you a reloadable card to put your earnings on for increased convenience.
How Does It Work?
Curious about how they get plasma out of you?
It’s much simpler than it might seem.
The process by which most plasma collection organizations extract your plasma is called plasmapheresis.
First (after they put the tube in your arm), they extract whole blood from your arm and send it to a centrifuge inside the plasmapheresis machine.
This centrifuge then spins around to separate the plasma from everything else in your blood.
Once separated, the plasma is extracted into a bottle while the other blood components are fed back into your arm.
And that’s it!
This process can take 45-90 minutes depending on your hydration levels.
Requirements To Sell Plasma
In general, a plasma donor must
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Weigh at least 110 pounds
- Pass a medical examination and complete an extensive screening
- Be free of blood-borne viruses such as HIV
However, state and local laws can vary from these requirements. State and local laws supersede the basic requirements if they happen to be stricter.
In addition, FDA regulations state that
- Donations can only happen a maximum of once every two days, and
- Donations cannot happen more than twice in a seven day period
As always, make sure to verify that you meet all requirements before you sign up to donate plasma.
How To Find A Plasma Donation Center
But how do you find out if there’s a center near you?
Well, you could do a few things:
- Google it – Simply type “plasma donation near me” and you’ll get address of all the plasma donation centers in your area.
- Donatingplasma.org – This is a website dedicated to educating the public about everything surrounding plasma and plasma donation. They have a plasma donation center finder on their website. Just enter your city/zip, the radius in which you’d like to search for a center, and search!
- Each organization’s website – Any plasma donation organization worth its salt has a locater tool on their website. If you have a preference of who takes your plasma, simply go to your chosen organization’s site and find their locater tool.
Up until now, you’re probably wondering: does the plasma donation industry have any sort of organization in place to establish credibility, maintain standards, and ensure safety?
After all, you’re going to be stuck with foreign objects and have plasma drained straight from your body (to put it darkly). Funny business is the last thing you want to occur with a needle in your arm.
The answer is yes, there is an organization; it’s called the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association, or PPTA for short.
The PPTA created the International Quality Plasma Program (IQPP for short) in order to maintain only the highest standards of quality and safety in plasma collection.
We recommend you choose an organization that is IQPP certified, as they have not only met but must continue to meet a myriad of stringent standards in order to maintain IQPP certification.
You can rest assured that you’re in good hands if your chosen plasma donation center is IQPP certified.
The Largest Plasma Donation Organizations
Now that you know how to find plasma donation centers near you, let’s go over some of the biggest players in the industry.
Don’t worry; they’re all IQPP certified!
Founded all the way back in 1940, Grifols is a massive global healthcare company that has created the largest network of plasma donation centers in the world.
They are focused on maintaining the highest quality and safety possible to better serve both you and the people whom their collected plasma benefits.
Aside from plasma collection, they also conduct a lot of research and craft amazing plasma-derived medicines to help sick people everywhere.
Part of a larger pharmaceutical company called Takeda, Biolife is another large plasma collection service.
The plasma they collect helps Takeda craft life-saving treatment for those with rare diseases.
You can find Biolife donation centers spread throughout both the United States and Austria.
Yet another one of the world’s largest plasma collectors is CSL Plasma.
Their products are used in a variety of products and life-saving treatments.
What’s cool about CSL’s compensation is that you earn points in addition to straight cash. You can redeem points for items other than cash if you want.
Plus, they have multiple donor “tiers” that you can work your way up through in the following order:
The higher your tier, the better the rewards!
Octapharma Plasma has 85+ donation centers across much of the United states. If you are looking to donate plasma for money near yourself, check out their website about plasma donation. They also go into detail how this plasma that you donate can be used to make medications that literally SAVE lives.
After a successful donation, you will get a prepaid debit card like many of the others and plasma doners can also earn incentives throughout the year.
With a slogan of “making money by making a difference” this is one you definitely want to check out.
What Does The First Visit Look Like?
Alright, now that you know of some places to donate your plasma, you’re probably wondering how exactly the process works.
We’re going to go over both what to expect during your very first plasma donation visit.
The Whole Process
When you arrive at your chosen donation center for the first time, the first thing you’ll need to do (as with anything medical-related) is fill out some paperwork at the front desk.
Once you’re all set with that, you might then meet with the medical team that digs into your medical history to make sure it’s safe for you to donate plasma.
They’ll then conduct your physical exam.
Assuming you pass your physical exam, you’ll then meet with the phlebotomist to prepare for the plasma donation process.
They’ll help make you comfortable and stay nearby if any question arise.
After they’re done extracting your plasma, they’ll put the rest of the blood components back into your arm.
Then, you’ll get some bandaging to cover the “wound” until it heals.
And that’s the whole thing!
When you come in for you second visit, you’ll spend a lot less time there since you won’t have to answer as many questions nor will you have to do the initial physical exam.
Tips For Successfully Donating Your Plasma
Plasma donation is a very safe process at IQPP certified donation centers.
But there are some things you can do to make your donation as safe and comfortable as possible.
The food you eat directly impacts your ability to successfully donate plasma.
First of all, they’re going to be taking a decent amount of blood from your arm. Make sure to get a protein- and iron-rich meal in about 3 meals before donating.
Lean red meat and poultry will supply you with plenty of iron and protein, but it’s up to you.
Throw some complex carbs in there for good measure if you eat them.
In addition, don’t eat any fatty fried foods like french fries or pizza the day you’re donating. The fat in these foods can actually affect blood test results and change your plasma’s consistency.
Get that nutrition in check before you donate your plasma! A good way to get your nutrition in check and keep it looking great is by meal prepping on a budget.
But pre-donation nutrition isn’t the only part of a successful donation experience; post-donation food matters too.
Make an effort to eat a balanced, healthy meal after you donate to get yourself back in to tip-top shape as soon as possible.
If you ask nicely, the plasma donation center may even have snacks available to give you a head start on refueling your body.
In a similar vein (no pun intended) to your nutrition, you want to be well-hydrated going in to your donation.
It’s recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water both the day before your donation and during your donation.
This will ensure an optimal donation process with minimal side effects from the temporary drop in blood and plasma levels in your body.
After all, you are mostly made of water.
Driving, operating heavy machinery, donating your plasma…
These are all things you should stay away from if you’ve been drinking.
When you consumer alcohol, it eventually ends up in your bloodstream; this is why blood-alcohol concentration is used to measure how intoxicated somebody is.
And so, consuming alcohol is to be avoided because the plasma collectors can’t take plasma from blood with alcohol in it.
Not to mention the dehydrating effects alcohol can have both when you’re drinking it and the morning after drinking it.
But don’t just avoid alcohol leading up to your donation; when your blood is depleted of plasma, you become MUCH more susceptible to the effects of alcohol.
One drink could have similar effects to multiple drinks since your blood-alcohol concentration will increase with less plasma.
Steer clear of it for a bare minimum of 12 hours to make sure you don’t get hit too hard by a beer or glass of wine.
Warm, Comfy Clothes
Plasma donation centers have to carefully regulate temperature for an optimal plasma donation process.
Thus, plasma donation centers are quite chilly to prevent your body temperature from getting too high.
So make sure to wear comfortable clothes with sleeves that roll up easily; bring a blanket as well if you get cold easily.
Pass The Time… Somehow
Donating plasma is a very easy way to get paid, but it’s also quite boring.
If you don’t bring something to entertain yourself, you may be stuck looking at the wall, watching whatever bad show is on the TV, or locking eyes with your blood as it’s sucked from your arm.
Donation centers provide free wifi; feel free to bring a phone or tablet to play games, listen to music, or watch TV.
Or bring some reading materials if that’s more your speed.
For those who get anxious around needles but still want to donate, a kind phlebotomist may not be enough to ease your nerves.
We’d recommend that you bring a friend or family member along in this case.
You can both keep each other company and treat the plasma donation experience as a bonding activity.
Oh, and most donation centers have a referral program in place too; you could earn some bonus cash for donating with a friend!
They Want Blood… Plasma
Plasma donation is one of the easiest ways to make extra money.
That is, if you qualify AND you can stand having a needle in your arm for an hour and a half.
But think about it:
All you have to do is sit in a chair for a while and you get paid at the end.
Feel free to watch Netflix, play phone games, or even work on another side hustle if you have one.
It really doesn’t get easier than this!