Donating plasma is a safe and straightforward way to help others in need. So, if you’re healthy and eligible, you can donate yours to help many who need it.
- Who Can Donate Plasma?
- How to Prepare for Giving Plasma?
- What Does the Process of Donating Plasma Involve?
- How Does Donating Plasma Work?
- How Often Can You Donate?
- Is it Safe to Donate Plasma?
- What if You Have Had COVID-19?
- Where to Find a Donation Centre?
- What Else Can I Donate?
- Speaking of Those in Need
- Final Thoughts
How to donate plasma?
This guide will provide information on the requirements for donating plasma, the process, and the benefits of donating.
So, let’s get started!
A Full Guide
What is Plasma?
Plasma is an essential part of your blood and one of the four main components that make it up. It accounts for more than half of your blood. And, when separated from the other components, takes on a light yellow color.
While free-flowing plasma is mostly water, it also contains salts and enzymes. These molecules serve essential functions, such as helping transport nutrients, providing immunity against pathogens, and allowing for specific interactions between cells.
All in all…
It plays an integral role in the biological processes occurring throughout your body, and it cannot be replaced by something else.
How Does Plasma Contribute to Your Health?
Plasma holds immense importance to our well-being. It contains components such as antibodies, clotting factors, albumin, and fibrinogen. And these all have life-saving abilities.
In fact, the proteins and antibodies extracted from it can be used to treat chronic auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and coagulation disorders like hemophilia. Moreover, these components are also utilized for producing vaccines for severe illnesses.
This includes many dangerous health conditions, such as rabies, rubella, and some forms of pneumonia. Therefore, plasma-derived products play an essential role in treating serious medical issues. Thus, earning its moniker ‘the gift of life!’.
Who Can Donate Plasma?
To be eligible for donating, you must usually be in good health. You also need to meet your specific regional donation requirements by age, weight, and physical condition and have a clear medical history, as well as travel history.
Is it the same everywhere?
No, different organizations may have different regulations. So it’s best to double-check beforehand if you are uncertain if you’d qualify.
Once cleared, donating is a simple process!
How to Prepare for Giving Plasma?
Preparing ahead of time is key when donating plasma. Not only is it important to get adequate sleep and stay hydrated prior to the appointment, but it’s also important to maintain a healthy diet.
But there’s more…
At least two or three hours before the appointment, be sure to drink at least 800 ml of water and abstain from consuming products containing nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine.
Additionally, make sure you have all the essential documents that are possibly required for the donation. This will likely include an ID proving identity, proof of address, and social security number, if necessary.
Finally, wear clothing that allows your sleeves to be rolled up above your elbow for ease during the donation process.
And not to worry…
Simply taking these steps will make your donation experience a successful one!
What Does the Process of Donating Plasma Involve?
As mentioned, to start, donors must check in with a valid photo ID, proof of address, and proof of social security. Then, they will receive a health screening to ensure their eligibility and overall good health.
In addition to the screening, donors will also receive a brief physical exam before the first donation and a confidential one annually.
When it’s time for the donation itself…
Donors will be seated at a machine where their whole blood is collected from a vein in the arm. The machine then separates out the plasma and returns all remaining components back into your body.
The process takes about an hour. But after that’s done, donors must stay an additional 10-15 minutes to rehydrate and make sure they’re feeling well enough to leave.
At that point, they will receive instructions on how to care for the bandage at home, as well as other important guidance.
How Long Does It All Take?
It is important for those who wish to donate to plan ahead for the entire visit, which can take 1 to 2 hours. Moreover, the first time a donor visits a center, it may take up to or slightly over two hours from check-in to the completion of the recovery period. However, after that initial visit, subsequent donations are typically shortened and range from one hour or less.
How Does Donating Plasma Work?
So as we briefly touched on above, quite simply, the process of donating plasma involves inserting a needle into the arm to draw blood. Then, the blood is separated in a process called plasmapheresis, with the red blood cells and other components being returned back to the body.
Of those that donate…
Those with rare blood type AB are highly sought after since their plasma has the ability to be used for anyone. But either way, your donated plasma is carefully stored under highly specialized medical conditions. Then it will be allocated to those in need, according to the urgency of their situation and the specific condition they are suffering from.
It’s really a fantastic way to help out someone in need and potentially change someone’s life in the process.
How Often Can You Donate?
To ensure a steady supply of plasma, guidelines set by the FDA limit how often you can donate, limiting you to two donations within six months at the same plasma center.
You can donate twice in any 7-day period but no more than once in a 48-hour period.
It’s also recommended that you schedule your next donation while still at the center to keep your commitment streak going!
Is it Safe to Donate Plasma?
Yes, donating plasma is generally considered a safe procedure. However, as with all medical procedures, there are associated risks, such as infection, bruising, and allergic reactions.
Most importantly, the plasma collection process of it is highly regulated by federal laws in order to ensure the safety of donors. But, potential donors should consult their healthcare provider before donating to decide if this procedure is appropriate for them.
Does it hurt to donate?
It can seem intimidating for those new to the process or unfamiliar with needles. As there may be worries about pain or discomfort during the donation. But the good news is that the donation process should not be painful.
Most commonly, donors report only a slight pinch when the needle is inserted into their arm. And a numbing cream or spray can help minimize any feelings of discomfort. But if you are concerned, be sure to ask questions beforehand so you can anticipate any potential issues that may arise.
What if You Have Had COVID-19?
After recovering from COVID-19, donating plasma might still be an option for some individuals. However, it is essential to wait for a certain period of time and meet other requirements before donating this type of blood product.
Depending on the severity of the virus someone has encountered and their health situation post-recovery, some people may still not meet the eligibility criteria for donation. Therefore, if you have had COVID-19 and are considering becoming a plasma donor, it’s best to check with your medical professional first. Moreover, to stay informed about any potential delays in the donation.
This can ensure that you donate safely when attempting to help those in need.
Can you donate if you have had the COVID-19 vaccine?
Generally, you must wait at least one month after receiving the vaccine in order to give plasma. During that time, your body has the opportunity to build up immunity and create antibodies.
Furthermore, your eligibility requirements may vary based on what type of vaccine you received. So it’s best to contact the donation center near you prior to donating.
Where to Find a Donation Centre?
Finding a plasma donation center in your area is a great way to contribute to life-saving medical research and treatments.
Ok, but how?
To locate one, try searching the internet for ‘donor centers near you.’ Many have custom search tools that allow you to quickly find the nearest option, sometimes with just a zip code or town name.
You can also call around and talk to your local American Red Cross chapter or blood bank, as they are often associated with plasma donation centers in the area. With these resources available at your disposal, it should not be too hard to find one close by!
What Else Can I Donate?
In addition to blood plasma, there are several other types of donations that can help save lives:
White Blood Cells
The White blood cells in your blood are a type of cell in your body that helps fight off infections and diseases. Donating these cells can help those with cancer and other diseases undergo treatments.
This is the blood found in a newborn’s umbilical cord, and it is rich in stem cells. These stem cells can be used to treat many different diseases, making cord blood a highly valuable donation.
Red Blood Cells
These cells carry oxygen around the body, making them an important donation for those who may be deficient in this vital element. For example, donating them can help those who have experienced a major trauma or those with chronic health conditions.
Platelets are tiny cells in the blood that help with clotting and healing. Donating platelets can help those who need surgery or have cancer and can help speed up the healing process.
You can also always sign up to be an organ donor and potentially save someone’s life. Make no mistake, donating an organ can provide a new lease on life to so many in need!
Speaking of Those in Need
Since you’re clearly a great person and interested in supporting those who need help, can we interest you in exploring a few other programs that may need your assistance?
Many organizations and federally-funded benefits programs welcome individuals wanting to do their bit. From volunteering to donating unwanted items, there’s so much you can do to help those less fortunate.
And if you know someone on benefits…
Is someone you love struggling to find a job?
If so, we have loads of support to offer!
We have guides to everything from understanding the real Benefits of Having a Job to using the Best Free Resume Builders to up your chances of landing that job. Also, get fast answers to Should I Apply to the Same Job Twice, and how to deal with uncomfortable interview questions, like What are Your Salary Expectations and What Is Your Current Salary?
Simply search our site for any job-seeking queries you may have in 2023.
Ok, back to today’s donation guide…
Donating plasma for medical treatments can be a wonderful way to help others. And it’s an important contribution to the health and well-being of individuals in need. But, if you think donating plasma is something you would like to do, be sure to research all the requirements and eligibility criteria for your local plasma donation center prior to making a donation.
This can ensure that you donate safely and properly assist those in need of life-saving treatments. Together we can make a difference! So, now that you know more about donating plasma, the next step is to take action!