Have you considered donating plasma for money? Do you know what the plasma donation process entails? Why do people get paid for part of their plasma? Is it ethical?
As a potential money-for-plasma donor, you may have numerous questions before, during, an after the plasma donation process. The following guide provides an overview of how payment-based plasma centers typically operate. Check with your local plasma collection site for details.
What is plasma?
Plasma is essentially the liquid part of your blood, yellowish in color. Comprised primarily of water and various proteins, it helps carry important substances throughout your body, including hormones and vitamins . Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are all suspended in blood plasma so they can circulate. Plasma is extracted from blood by a process called plasmapheresis, during which a machine spins the collected product to separate the liquid from the blood cells.
Why do I get money for my plasma?
Because it assists with blood clotting, plasma is used to help hemophiliacs and other people who experience coagulation problems. Plasma products are also used to assist burn victims . Additionally, plasma is valuable in medical research, helping to create treatments for diseases that attack the immune system. When you donate plasma for money, the center will inform you that your plasma can be used for many purposes. You do not retain any control over how your plasma is used.
Donating plasma for money is more involved than donating blood. It can take about two hours from start to finish, and you are being compensated for your time as much as you are being compensated for the plasma you provide.
Where can I donate plasma for money?
Most often, paying plasma donation centers are located in urban areas, where they can attract lots of donors. The website www.bloodbanker.com contains a directory of plasma-for-money centers in large cities. You may want to consult a phone book or ask friends and colleagues if any of them have used a particular plasma donation facility. Appointments are almost never necessary, though you may want to allow several hours for your first visit.
What is plasma donation like? What can I expect?
On your first visit to a plasma center , you will need to fill out an extensive pile of paperwork. Some of the forms ask about your medical history and sexual habits. Others describe the policies and procedures for the collection facility, including the safety components. You may also be asked to watch a video about risk factors to ensure you are not participating if your drug use, sexual behavior, or foreign travel prohibits you from donating plasma. You may also need to consent to a physical exam.
After you compete the initial screening, the normal plasma donation process begins with a measurement of your weight and a quick test of your blood (from a pin prick). While your small blood sample is being tested to ensure your blood is chemically sound to donate that day, a staff member will ask you a number of questions about your habits and well-being since your last visit. An ultraviolet light and a special dye is used to mark your finger to ensure that you are not also donating at other facilities. This short mini-screening process typically takes about 10 minutes, but there will probably be people ahead of you. As a result, you may wait 15 or even 30 minutes just to get to this mini-screening.
After you complete the mini-screening, you will be asked to drink a glass of water and then led into the plasmapheresis room. If you need to use the bathroom, you must do it before you are connected to the machine, as the process cannot be stopped midstream. You will lie on a reclining chair and wait for a staff member to prep your arm, open the sterile collection supplies, and stick you with a needle to begin the blood draw.
Because you are donating plasma (just one portion of your blood), the process involves several cycles. Blood is collected, the plasma machine extracts the liquid it needs, and then the blood cells are pumped back into your body. Several of these automatic cycles must be completed to collect the required amount of plasma, and then the machine will automatically shut off. You are free to read, listen to music, talk to fellow donors, or even watch TV. Be prepared to lie there for anywhere from 45 to 100 minutes. The number of cycles needed and the total amount of time depends on how well you blood flows!
When your plasma collection container is full, a staff member will disconnect you from the machine, give you gauze for your arm, and ask you to drink some more water. After a short wait, you will be paid, typically in cash. The staff will also tell you when you are eligible to donate again. Most centers only allow two donations per week, so many donors will refer to their regular days: “I’m a Tuesday and Friday.”
How much money can I get for my plasma?
The average payout for a container of your plasma varies from $20 to $30, depending on your individual center. Some facilities offer incentive plans. To entice two donations in one week, you may be given $20 for the first trip and $30 for the second trip instead of $25 each time.
While plasma donation facilities do have a stigma as a place for society’s low and downtrodden, many college students also use plasma centers. Some students even head there in groups as a money-making social activity. I know three roommates who go to the plasma center once a week together. For three people each spending (about) eight hours a month, they earn an average of $240 total. These students use their plasma money for communal bills and goods – cable, phone, internet, cleaning supplies, and even a house subscription to Netflix.
In addition to the money you receive for your plasma, you may meet some interesting people. An odd sort of community develops at the donation site because the same staff and donors tend to be present. If you become a regular, you may even have your favourite staff member since some of them wield needles better than others.
Is plasma-for-pay ethical?
No matter how you slice it, plasma donation means selling part of your body – part of your blood – for money. To some people, the ethical dilemma presented by this economic exchange is troubling. Indeed, the people in a plasma center can look like humans connected to The Matrix: people physically attached to machinery pods that milk them for their very life blood. This may sound dramatic, but it does raise the question of how willing the donors really are. Critics argue that plasma donation for money crosses a line from normal trade among willing parties to bodily exploitation of the poor. After all, the clientele at most plasma centers are low-income people who have few alternatives for cash.
If you want to rationalize the selling of your bodily fluids for money, here are some alternative ways to frame the plasma donation experience:
· Plasma products are used for a variety of medical purposes, many of which directly benefit fellow human beings (albeit through channels of capitalism). The end products are useful enough to society that they may justify the means.
· The fact that many indigent people resort to plasma donation for cash is just symptomatic of the way the United States treats its poor. Because our national poverty reduction efforts are inadequate, the real problem is a multifaceted social one that will not be addressed by stopping plasma-for-pay.
· Donating plasma is safer than prostitution!
· Donating plasma is somewhat like donating long locks of hair to make natural wigs. Plasma, like hair, is part of your body that will grow back without repercussion.
Certainly, you should not lightly make a decision to become a donor. Ask yourself if any of the ethical concerns trouble you. If you can balance the benefits and the detriments, then go sell some plasma! You may also be interested in reading Make Big Money as a Freelance Sperm Donor.