Did you know you can still make money from plasma? It’s not that hard and you can get up to $400 a month. Read on to find out how.
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood that contains mostly water but also other important proteins. The primary function of plasma is to transport substances around the body. It contains antibodies, hormones, enzymes, and salts.
Once donated, plasma can be turned into a wide range of medical products. Plasma donations are processed through two steps. First, red blood cells and platelets are removed from the plasma. The remaining plasma is then pasteurized to remove viruses and toxins.
Table of Contents
Why Donate Plasma?
There are several reasons for first-time donors to sell plasma for money:
- It’s simple and painless
- Some centers offer snacks and TV while taking a break
- It can be done in less than an hour
- You can donate as often as twice per week
- There may even be bonuses or other incentives offered even though most states require that donors pass a mini-physical before selling plasma
- Plasma donors can donate plasma up to two times per week (depending on your doctor’s recommendation)
- You can earn between $40-$80 each time you donate (dependent upon location)
- You can earn between $100-$400+/month with regular donations (dependent upon location)
Difference Between Donating Blood & Donating Plasma
There are several differences between blood and plasma donations.
The biggest difference is that plasma can be donated more often than you can donate blood (2x per week for plasma vs once every 56 days for red cells).
Additionally, the amount of time to donate plasma versus blood is much shorter (you can finish donating in less than an hour).
Another important point is that your body will replace the fluids you lose within 24 hours (assuming you drink water) whereas it takes about 56 days to replenish all the proteins that are lost when giving blood.
Donating at a Plasma Donation Center
The process to donate more plasma typically takes less than an hour. The whole process will take no more than 2-3 hours. First, you provide some initial paperwork and answer a few health questions at the registration desk.
You will then be escorted back to the donation room where they will start your donation. The actual process takes about 60 minutes but you can rest for 30 minutes afterward, so it’s only 90 minutes overall.
Plasma Donation Steps:
- Assemble required documentation
- Relax in the waiting area
- Answer health history questionnaire
- Receive mini-physical
- Proceed to donor room
- Complete donating procedure
- Relax in the recovery area until time to leave
- Get paid! (or enter sweepstakes)
Assemble Required Documentation
Before you donate, you’ll need to assemble a few documents. These include a government-issued ID (i.e., driver’s license), proof of your residency (such as a bill or bank statement), and possibly your social security card. Be sure to check with the donation center before you go to ensure you have everything you need.
Relax in Waiting Area
While completing all this paperwork you’ll likely be sitting in a waiting room with other donors- feel free to chat with them! It may seem intimidating at first but of the people who donate regularly are usually friendly and willing to answer any questions you may have. They can also tell you what to expect from their experience, which is always nice if it’s your first time donating plasma.
Answer Health History Questionnaire
If you’re a new donor, the plasma donation center near you will ask you a few health history questions before completing the mini-physical. These are typically basic questions about known medical conditions or recent surgeries to make sure you’re in good health. Be honest with your answers as a false positive could disqualify you from donating that day. (You likely won’t have to fill out another form at your second donation unless your health has changed.)
You should also notify the staff of your medical history, including any medications, dietary supplements, or herbal remedies that you’re currently taking to ensure there are no incompatibilities with the processing procedure. Only medicines prescribed by a doctor may be taken during plasmapheresis procedures- else could cause serious complications or even death.
Some of the questions you might be asked on the plasma donor questionnaire include:
- Have you had surgery in the past year?
- What is your blood type?
- Are you in good health?
- Is this your first donation or second donation?
- Have you been hospitalized in the past month?
- Do you have a history of heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, or pancreatitis?
- Have you ever taken illegal drugs including marijuana, cocaine, speed, or heroin?
Receive Mini Physical
Before the plasma donation center can start the donation procedure, you’ll need to complete a mini-physical with one of the clinic staff members. They will check your temperature, blood pressure, blood type, weight requirement, pulse, and iron levels before giving you final approval for selling plasma.
Most people don’t realize it but the donation itself will lower your white blood cell count for about 24 hours after donating- so if you’re feeling any sickness or illness at all be sure to let them know so they can disqualify you from donating that day! Be prepared to discuss any medications taken regularly since these may alter processing procedures (i.e., insulin injections).
If there are no major problems (few donations are turned down), then proceed into the next step which is the actual donation process (where you can start to earn money for your bank account).
Proceed to Donor Room and Complete Donating Procedure
Typically, you’ll be escorted back to the donation room by one of the staff members. A typical session will have you hooked up to a machine for 60 minutes where they will take your plasma and replace it with saline solution. You can watch TV or listen to music during this time but most centers do not allow reading material.
Be sure to ask about center policy if you have any special requests for movies/music before donating. Although there are many machines used in different countries, the basic concept is the same – draw blood from your arm (from a needle site) into a sterile bag (typically containing an anticoagulant like sodium citrate) then separate some of your plasma using cold centrifugal force.
Once the machine is done processing your plasma, they will replace it with saline solution and you’re all set to go! All in all, a whole session usually takes about 60 minutes from start to finish so do plan accordingly when going out for this procedure.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have something productive to do while at the plasma center. There is no shortage of great things you can accomplish in an hour if you put your mind to it (like reading books on personal finance or blogs on how to earn money, or watching videos from your financial advisor). If you don’t want to be productive, you can always play Pokemon.
Relax in Recovery Area
After the donation procedure is complete, those who donated plasma will go to a recovery area where they will provide you with snacks and lots of water. The whole process from start to finish takes about 1-2 hours so you’ll want to make sure you’re well-watered before going in.
Recover from Donation
When all the saline solution is back in your body, your blood levels will rise causing a slight increase in blood pressure which will usually last for 12-24 hours. This means that if feel sick or weak at this time, it’s probably due to the plasma donation process and will go away shortly after your body readjusts itself.
These symptoms are typically minor but may include mild headaches, fatigue, nausea, and lightheadedness. If these persist after 24 hours, contact your medical professional immediately.
If you do start to feel sick or weak at any time, be sure to consult with your primary physician if possible. If they determine that it is indeed due to donating plasma (and not something else like the flu for example), then they may recommend canceling future donations until the issue has been resolved. It’s never worth putting yourself at risk for selling plasma!
When you’re done with the donation session all you need to do is relax for about 30 minutes before leaving. Make sure you drink lots of fluids during this period since plasma donation will cause slight dehydration in most people.
Feeling tired or weak after plasma or blood donations? Rehydrate by drinking a few glasses of water immediately after your donation session and you should start to feel better within about an hour!
Get Paid Money from Plasma Donation
Once your donation is complete, you’ll get a quick overview of the health screening results from your session. If all looks good then congratulations on donating plasma! You can expect to be paid between $25-50 per session depending on the country and donation center (most centers use this as an incentive for donors).
This money will usually arrive in about one week after completing the sessions (again, check with individual center policy). You can even save money or earn more money by doing two donations (or more) and by earning referral bonuses.
Pro Tip: Before making any appointments, ask what time slots are available at that center. The best time slots tend to book up quickly so if you see openings at 10 am or 5 pm make sure to grab them before someone else does! Most donations centers take walk-ins but availability tends to be limited during popular time slots.
When you’ve got the time, plasma donation is an easy way to make some extra money on your schedule. This can be particularly helpful if you’re like me and need more flexible work that allows you to travel or take vacation time whenever; donating plasma also happens to be a great way to spend your down-time between travels! And of course, getting paid for it is even better 😉 Until next time! Keep up the good work.
How Do I Find Plasma Donation Centers?
There are quite a few plasma centers located across the United States and Canada making it easy to find a donation center near you.
In Canada, most donation centers require donors to be at least 18 years old although some centers will make exceptions if both donor and recipient are under 19. In the U.S., there is no upper age limit for plasma donation but most centers do prefer donors that are between 18-65.
Make sure the location you’re going to is in your target area before booking appointments since certain donation centers specialize in different types of donations (for example, some cater specifically to people with rare blood types or O negative). Do a quick Google search for “plasma donation centers near me” and you should be able to find one pretty easily.
After Donating Plasma- Tips and Tricks
Now that you’ve completed your first plasma donation session, let’s take a look at what to expect and how to maximize the benefits. After donating plasma most people report feeling tired or weak for several hours.
This is because of all the time you spent sitting in one place and it can be exhausting if you don’t plan accordingly. This is why I recommend having some sort of activity planned afterward (going out for lunch or a walk are good choices).
Bolster Your Energy After Donating Plasma
As mentioned above, an hour-long walk around the block after donating plasma will make sure you feel even better after your session instead of getting drowsy from sitting still for too long! In addition to this recommendation, there are a few other things you can do to increase your plasma donation benefits.
For one, be sure to eat a healthy meal before donating plasma. You want something with enough calories to give you energy but not so much that you feel tired after donating. A quick sandwich or some soup should do the trick nicely! I also recommend consuming at least 100% of your daily Vitamin C requirement (this will boost immunity and make sure you stay hydrated).
Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day (you can’t donate plasma if dehydrated) and pick up an electrolyte supplement like Gatorade or coconut water for fast rehydration (if possible, avoid sports drinks since these tend to be full of sugar which will leave you feeling fatigued).
Another pro tip for maximizing your plasma donation session: bring some books or magazines with you to keep yourself occupied. This way you won’t have to sit around bored while selling plasma and can even get in a few extra minutes of reading time before or after the actual session!
Just remember not to eat or drink anything 30 minutes before donating so the center employees can prepare everything beforehand.
You should be feeling better than ever once all is said and done! Plasma donation has endless benefits for people who are looking to make some extra cash on their schedule and with minimal effort (other than giving blood).
I’d also like to mention that the amount of money you make from donating plasma depends on which center you go to and how often. Most people tend to aim for 2-3 times a week (though not all centers allow this) and the hourly pay rate also varies.
So before your next plasma donation session, think about what’s most important: convenience or paying rate. And remember that every little bit counts so try to go as often as possible!
Pro Tip: save up your earnings and then reward yourself with something nice like a new outfit, gadgets, etc. Or just save it and bring in even more money with another plasma donation session.
Things to Watch Out For
Though donating plasma is generally safe, there are some possible side effects you should be aware of. For one, blue or purple discoloration of the skin is very rare but not unheard of. If this happens, don’t worry! It’s usually nothing to be concerned about and will usually go away within a few hours.
Also, remember that giving blood might make you feel faint. This can sometimes happen even if you’ve donated before so it’s best to sit down for a bit after your donation session ends. Most plasma donation centers have recliners for people to relax in so take advantage of these and let yourself rest for 15-30 minutes (I do this every time I donate and it helps me stay energized).
All in all, plasma donation is a great way to make money on your schedule and with minimal effort. Not many people know about this so I’d recommend giving it a try as soon as possible! Plus, it’s important to have some sort of side hustle going if you ever want to transition into being a full-time freelancer!
Hopefully, this guide has given you some useful information about why donating plasma is such a great way to make money. You can make anywhere from $20-$50 per donation depending on which center you go to and how often you do it.
Another pro tip for getting the most out of plasma donation is to bring in another person with you (friend, family member, etc.) since this will increase your chances of being accepted while still allowing you to get paid for both people’s donations!
To help you make more money faster consider signing up for the BioLife plasma services new donors program. CSL Plasma and BPL Plasma are other private centers that typically pay for people to donate who have good health conditions.
I hope you found my plasma donation guide helpful! Remember, donating plasma is a great way to make money but only if you follow the steps above. If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them below 🙂
FAQ – Make Money From Plasma
Do I have to be 18 to donate plasma in donation centers?
No, there is no legal minimum age for donating plasma and certain facilities allow donations from people aged 16 and even 15 (with parental consent).
What does it mean when a donation center says they won’t accept my donation?
This could mean several things: 1) Your hemoglobin levels were below required levels 2) You had low enough potassium levels 3) You couldn’t produce enough plasma (some centers require more than others) or 4) The lab technicians found something wrong with your sample (this happens rarely, but it’s possible).
Can I get paid more if I donate plasma twice/three times in one week in a plasma center?
Technically yes, though most centers will not allow this since this would be considered too frequent of a donation. My recommendation is to aim for 2-3 donations per week and then save up some money before you head back in for another session. This way you’ll make some cash without overdoing it.
What if I want to donate plasma but don’t have enough time?
Unfortunately donating plasma takes a lot longer than giving blood, so you won’t be able to fit a plasma donation session into a busy schedule. Another option you can try is donating whole blood, though this won’t make you as much money and takes less time.
What happens if I miss my donation appointment?
You will probably be unable to reschedule another appointment, so keep that in mind before choosing a day/time. If it’s too late for rescheduling you should ask about canceling your existing appointment since some centers have policies in place that allow for this.
Can I donate plasma while being pregnant?
No, plasma donation is not recommended in pregnancy due to possible health risks and potential complications. Also, note that certain medications are prohibited from being taken by donors in the weeks leading up to a plasma donation session.
Is it safe to donate plasma?
Yes, donating plasma is very safe and I’ve never heard of any side effects or problems from doing so. Also, keep in mind that plasma donation centers go through a lot of testing to ensure the samples are used for medical purposes only and not sold on the black market. This means you’ll be helping people with serious medical conditions or infectious diseases get their hands on some much-needed medication through plasma-derived therapies.
Is donating plasma ethical?
Yes, I think it’s a good thing to do. Donors making money donating plasma are helping people with serious conditions get their hands on much-needed medication. Every donation helps many centers (private centers or other centers) provide convalescent plasma to people in need.