Plasma, the straw coloured liquid component of blood that transports cells and other vital substances throughout the body, is 90% water and makes up 55% of your blood volume. Currently the demand for donated plasma is more than 20 million litres worldwide. According to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA), collected blood plasma is used to create treatments for patients with serious, chronic diseases and disorders, as well as for burn victims. There are more than 380 centres licensed and certified to collect plasma in the United States. Most plasma centres are profit-based and will compensate you for your plasma donation.
According to the College of American Pathologists, you must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 49.9 Kilogram to give plasma. You may not donate blood plasma if you have HIV or AIDS, have Creutzfeldt-Jakob (mad cow) disease, have had hepatitis since your 11 birthday, have taken non-prescription drugs intravenously, have certain parasitic infections or are a hemophiliac.
Individual collection centres set compensation terms for plasma donations. Expect to earn between $15 and $25 for each plasma donation, depending on the facility and location. Some plasma centres offer $25 to $30 bonuses for first time donors, as well as for referrals. Typically, you'll receive $25 each for your first two to four donations, and then $15 to $20 for subsequent donations, depending on the centre.
According to the College of American Pathologists, blood plasma may be donated up to twice in a seven day period and you must wait at least 48 hours between the two donations. Even though blood plasma regenerates much faster than whole blood, your body needs time to recover between plasma donations.
PPTA provides an online listing of licensed plasma centres in the U.S. No matter which centre you visit, plan for the first donation to take about three hours to allow time for health screening and testing requirements. Subsequent visits should take about an hour and a half.
Follow donor guidelines to ensure your continued good health. Eat something in the hour before you give plasma and drink plenty of water before and after to avoid excess weakness and dizziness from dehydration. Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 72 hours after giving plasma since alcohol hinders your body's ability to replenish blood plasma.