Are There Health Benefits To Donating Plasma
Donating plasma helps save and improve the lives of thousands of people around the world. Your donation helps patients who need plasma-derived biotherapies to improve or save their lives. Those in need are suffering from life-threatening conditions such as hemophilia, immune deficiencies, and other blood disorders.
What Is The Process For Donating Plasma
Plasma is donated through a process called apheresis. Your blood is collected and processed in real time to separate the plasma and return the rest of the blood components back to you. The entire process, including registration and recovering in the canteen area for 15 minutes post donation takes approximately 75 minutes.
Side Effects Of Donating Plasma
Donating plasma can have side effects that are typically minor, but if its your first time donating, you may wish to have a ride home, just in case. Bruising and nerve irritation are among the most common, usually around the injection site. It may have mild swelling, which can be treated with cold packs. Nerve irritation causes immediate, intense pain at the injection site and can cause shooting pain down the arm and into the hand. If this happens, alert the technician theyll immediately remove the needle. This should eliminate the stabbing pain, although some mild discomfort may remain for a day or two afterward.
More serious risks of donating plasma may be a drop in blood pressure, which can result in light-headedness or fainting. Some people experience this as a result of fear of needles or having blood drawn. Other possible side effects include sweating and paleness, weakness, sudden warmness, or nausea or vomiting. Dizziness and blurred or tunnel vision may also occur.
More serious risks of donating plasma may be a drop in blood pressure, which can result in light-headedness or fainting.
If a mild reaction occurs, the donation is typically paused, calcium may be given to you to eliminate these side effects of donating plasma. However, with a severe citrate reaction, the donation process is halted. You may need emergency attention.
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Can I Donate If
For whole-blood donation, you can make an appointment using our simple on-line form. If you have any other questions or concerns regarding donation, call the NIH Blood Bank at 496-1048. We can also answer many of your questions via email at .
Below, you will find a list of questions donors frequently ask. The eligibility criteria for donation at the National Institutes of Health Department of Transfusion Medicine reflects local NIH policy as well as national regulations. Although all blood banks are required to follow general federal regulations, specific criteria may vary, depending on each blood bank’s internal policies. If you are donating at a blood bank other than the NIH Blood Bank, contact that bank with any questions regarding your eligibility.
Can I donate if …
Can I donate if I am taking aspirin? You cannot donate platelets if you have taken aspirin in the last 48 hours.
Can I donate if I am 16 years old? You must be at least 17 years old to donate at the NIH Blood Bank or Donor Center at Fishers Lane.
Can I donate if I am 70 years old? There is no upper age limit for donation.
Can I donate if I have traveled to other countries? There is a slight risk of exposure to infectious agents outside the United States that could cause serious disease. Donor deferral criteria for travel outside the US are designed to prevent the transmission of three specific organisms from donor to recipient:
Giving Blood Can Reduce Harmful Iron Stores
One in every two hundred people in the U.S. is affected by a condition called hemochromatosis and most dont even know it, according to Patenaude. Hemochromatosis is a disease that causes an iron overload and is labeled as the most common genetic disease among Caucasians by the Mayo Clinic.
A committed blood donor herself, Patenaude recommends donation as a way to reduce the bodys extra iron stores. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the removal of red blood cells by phlebotomy is the preferred treatment for patients with excess iron in their blood.
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Other Infectious Diseases Parasitic And Bacterial
It varies depending on the type of disease or recovery period of the individual:
- Chagas Disease Not eligible, past or current infection
- Leishmaniasis Not eligible, past or current infection
- Babesiosis Only eligible once the infection has passed, at least 2 years after the last positive test.
- Malaria Only eligible 3 years after the treatment is done. If youve traveled within the past 3 years to countries where malaria is prevalent, you are not allowed to proceed. You have to wait 3-6 years before you can give again.
- Tuberculosis Individuals with active tuberculosis or are undergoing treatment for it cannot donate. Once treatment is done and successful and you do not have active TB, you can apply again for donor eligibility.
What Is The Plasma Donation Process
There are a few differences between normal blood donation and plasma donation, but the process only takes a few extra minutes. During a normal blood donation, blood is removed from the patient and sent to a laboratory, where it is then separated into its primary parts for separate transfusion. Most plasma that goes to patients comes from this process.
During a plasma donation, blood is removed from the donors arm and run through an automated process that removes the plasma portion from the blood. The remaining red blood cells and platelets are then returned to the donors arm with a small amount of saline to maintain the overall volume. This all occurs while the donor is in the donation chair and allows a donor to give more plasma than they would during a regular blood donation enough plasma for up to three patients from a single plasma donation. The process itself is safe, and ultimately is very similar to a general blood donation visit.
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Giving Blood Can Help Your Mental State
While there are several physical benefits to donating blood, the most powerful health benefit is arguably in the psychological realm. Donating blood means that someone somewhere will be getting the help they desperately need.
Donating blood, especially on a regular basis, can be similar to volunteer work. You give of your time to help strangers in need. If you go to specific blood donation location each time, youll get to know some of the staff who are also dedicating themselves to the cause of saving lives.
This kind of regular, altruistic interaction has major psychological benefits. Getting out of your usual environment to do something good for someone else is stimulating in the best kind of way. Volunteering has been shown to have positive effects on happiness. In people over 65-years-old, volunteering also reduces the risk of depression and loneliness.
Patenaude believes the psychological health benefit you receive from knowing youre helping others is just as helpful as the physical health benefit. When you roll up your sleeve and sit down in that chair, you know youre making a differenceand that makes you feel good!
How Long Does It Take To Donate Plasma
So, how does it work? Its similar to simple blood being drawn but with a few differences in terms of eligibility requirements and blood processing. To draw blood, a sterile needle is inserted into one arm at the crook of your elbow. Then, your blood is sent through a machine that collects your plasma. Your red blood cells and platelets are delivered back into your body along with some saline. Due to this additional process of isolating the plasma and sending back platelets and RBC, donating plasma takes slightly longer than the usual blood.
On average, this entire process takes around one hour and 15 minutes. First-time donors usually take up more time, around two hours. This process is safe and involves little pain as the needle breaks the skin. The nurses or trained volunteers ensure that all donors are comfortable during and after the process. Centers accepting it are usually stocked up with food and refreshments. You can consume it while resting after donating to combat lightheadedness.
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Giving Blood May Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Cancer
In an average, completely healthy person, the link between giving blood and decreased cancer risk is slim. But research does support a reduced risk of cancer for blood donors with different maladies, one of which is hemochromatosis.
Phlebotomy was found to be an iron-reduction method that is associated with lower cancer risk and mortality, according to a study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study focused on patients affected by peripheral arterial disease , which the Mayo Clinic describes as a common circulatory problem. PAD patients who regularly donated blood had a lower risk of developing cancer than those who did not.
Before You Donate Plasma
- Stay Hydrated Drink 6 to 8 cups of water or juice the day before you donate plasma and the day of your donation.
- Eat Protein and Iron-Rich Food Eat protein-rich, iron-rich meals at least 3 hours before donating plasma.
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Organ And/or Tissue Transplant
Recent organ or tissue transplants would disqualify you from being a donor. You have to wait for 3 months after the operation before becoming eligible.
In the case of dura mater or brain covering transplant, this results in permanent disqualification from being a blood or plasma donor. This is because of the possibility of CJD or other TSE transmission.
Earn Up To $4000 Per Year
What attracts many people to plasma donation is the fact that you can earn a substantial amount of money every time you donate. From start to finish the appointment takes about an hour, which means you can take home up to $40 for just 1 hour of your time. By the end of the year, your earnings can add up to $4,000 if you make just two donations every seven days.
Unlike a standard red blood cell, platelet, or whole blood donation, which don’t offer financial incentives, donating plasma can be an extremely flexible and lucrative side job, not unlike driving with Uber or delivering with DoorDash. Whether you want to save for a vacation, pay off bills, or cover your family’s needs, donating plasma can help you reach those goals faster.
If compensation is important to you, make sure that you make an appointment at a plasma donation center rather than a blood bank, blood drive, or the American Red Cross. The Parachute app offers multiple ways to increase your earnings through first-time donor bonuses and referrals. Were also big on loyalty and the more frequently you donate, the more you can earn.
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Does Donating Plasma Weaken Your Immune System
Donating your plasma does not compromise your own immunity and you are required to wait 28 days between donations to be sure you maintain adequate antibodies so you dont harm your immune system. In addition to OneBlood, you can get more information on convalescent plasma at the American Red Cross, the FDA or CDC.
Best Blood Type For Plasma Donation
The ideal blood type for plasma donations are AB+ and AB-. AB is the universal blood type for plasma donations and can be given to patients with any blood type. Its critical in trauma care, where theres often not enough time to test blood type prior to transfusion. Since only 4% of the population is type AB, more type AB plasma is needed than there are often donors available to give it. A plasma donation by type AB donors helps ensure one donor can give even more plasma to help trauma patients. Individuals can donate plasma as often as every 28 days, and the average donation takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Type AB donors are always needed to provide plasma for trauma patients. At the Red Cross, those donors are called AB Elite. AB Elite plasma donations can be scheduled online, over the phone or via the American Red Cross Blood Donor app.
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What To Expect During Plasma Donation
To donate plasma, you have to be at least 18 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. YouÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to get a physical examination and get tested for certain viruses like HIV and hepatitis.
Donating plasma is a little different from donating whole blood. When you donate whole blood, it goes straight into a collection bag and is later separated in a lab. When you donate plasma, the blood thatÃ¢â¬â¢s drawn from your arm goes through a special machine to separate the different parts of your blood.
The parts that are left over, including your red blood cells, go back in your body, along with some saline solution. The process usually takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
A Healthier Heart And Vascular System
Regular blood donation is linked to lower blood pressure and a lower risk for heart attacks. It definitely helps to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, says Dr. DeSimone.
Whats the connection? If your hemoglobin is too high, blood donation helps to lower the viscosity of the blood, which has been associated with the formation of blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke, Dr. DeSimone says. Interestingly, these benefits are more significant in men compared to women. We think maybe its because women have menstrual cycles, so they do it naturally without donating blood.
People with a condition called hereditary hemochromatosis must have blood removed regularly to prevent the buildup of iron. Fortunately, this blood can benefit others.
These are essentially healthy patients who are otherwise normal, but they have a gene mutation where they make too much blood, and they make too much normal blood, Dr. Vossoughi says. So we can use that blood.
The New York Blood Center Hereditary Hemochromatosis Program allows people with hemochromatosis to donate blood rather than have it removed and thrown away. Instead of having to go to a clinic or go to one of our phlebotomy centers every few months to reduce their blood volume, they can go to any local blood drive, Dr. Vossoughi says. That blood will then be used for somebody who needs it.
Dr. Sarah Vossoughi
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Benefits Of Plasma Donation
Many people are familiar with the benefits and the process of blood donation however, few people understand the importance of plasma donation. Plasma is the pale, yellow portion of the blood. Nearly 50% of blood is made up of plasma , which itself contains water, proteins and salts. Plasma plays the critical role of maintaining a healthy blood pressure, blood volume and a proper pH balance. Without plasma, our body would not be supplied with many of the proteins that are necessary to support blood clotting and our immune system responses. In addition, plasma carries many of the electrolytes that our muscles need to function properly and support our activities of daily living.
Feeling Faint Or Dizzy
The loss of fluid can lead to dehydration and cause some people to feel lightheaded during and after the donation.
This reaction is common and usually mild. Donation center staff encourage people to rest and have a drink and a snack after the process is over, to counter any lightheadedness.
During the donation, if a person experiences any of the following, the attendant may stop the procedure:
- low blood pressure
- sweating, twitching, or weakness
The person will then likely need to rest with their feet raised and drink some fluids.
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How Do I Prepare To Donate Plasma
On the day of your plasma donation appointment, make sure that you get some rest and have a healthy breakfast. You should drink lots of fluids, but avoid coffee, tea, and alcohol, as these drinks actually dehydrate you. Opt for water or juice instead. You should not eat anything oily or greasy before donating plasma since this can affect the quality of your plasma.
Special Instructions: Call The Donor Services Nurse At 398
- If you experience discomfort at the venipuncture site, apply a cold compress for 20 minutes, 4 times a day for the first 2 days to decrease swelling and pain, then apply a warm compress for 20 minutes, 4 times a day to promote healing until the discomfort has resolved.
- If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness or feel like you are going to faint, sit down with your head between your knees or lie down with your legs elevated as soon as possible to avoid a potential fall and injury. Remain in this position until the sensation subsides. If symptoms persist, seek medical advice.
- If you experienced an arterial puncture: Remove the wrap in 1 hour and rewrap loosely. Do not lift anything with the affected arm for at least 24 hours. Call the nurse line above or seek medical attention for any problems related to the arterial puncture.
- If you sustained an impact to the head, seek medical care immediately if any of these symptoms present:
- One pupil is larger than the other
- A headache that becomes severe
- Convulsions or seizures
- Double or blurry vision
- Repeated nausea and vomiting
- Unusual behavior such as confusion or agitation
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