Anyone can make money from donating plasma – including you. However, it is important that you fully understand first what you are getting yourself into before anything else.
Can you make money from donating plasma?
Yes, you can.
Unlike donating red blood where you cannot make money out of it, donating plasma is a totally different thing. You get paid when donating your plasma.
While donating blood, and donating plasma is essentially the same process, in the United States, there is a key difference between the two. Obviously, as we have mentioned, one is a total act of charity, while the latter is an act of commerce.
Surprisingly, the plasma business is booming in the country. In fact, according to a report published by The New York Times, the number of collection centers in the US are doubling since 2005. More so, “global sales roughly quadrupling since 2000 to be more than $21 billion in 2017” according to the report.
Unlike a lot of countries that have already banned paying people for donating their blood, in the US, that is totally not the case. In 2016, it has been found that “blood products made up 1.9 percent of all American exports,” which surprisingly is more than any other products exported like computers and soybeans.
And the growth in this kind of business does not end there. In a report from the Market Research Future, it says that the market for those medicines (which obviously refers to plasma) is “projected to grow radiantly by 2023”.
However, there is underneath to all this growth in this business — that is that the industry depends on the blood of the very poor. But this idea is disputed by the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association, which is a trade group. They say that the industry of plasma does not depend on desperate people. More so, the poor individuals in society.
But why do people get paid from donating plasma in the first place? Why does a lot of people are getting into this kind of trading?
Well, that is what we are going to tackle today. In particular, we are going to answer common questions surrounding this industry, which include:
- What are blood plasma and its importance to the body?
- Who is eligible to donate blood plasma?
- How to donate blood plasma?
- How long does it take to donate blood plasma?
- How frequently can a person donate blood plasma?
- Does it hurt to donate blood plasma?
- What are the pros and cons of donating blood plasma?
- How much does a person make from donating blood plasma?
- Where to donate blood plasma?
WHAT ARE BLOOD PLASMA AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO THE BODY?
As we mentioned earlier, before knowing how to make money from donating plasma, you have to fully understand first everything about it. It is vital that before you jump into selling your plasma, you know what exactly it is that you are getting yourself into. And one of the first few things that you have to know is what plasma or blood plasma is all about.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, plasma refers to one of the usually forgotten parts of the blood. Just like white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, plasma also plays an important role in the body. Plasma is a fluid that “carries the blood components throughout the body”.
What people do not know is that plasma is the largest part of a person’s blood. URMC says that it actually “more than half (about 55%) of its overall content”. When the plasma is separated from the rest of the blood, you will find it as a light yellow liquid. Plasma, according to URMC, carries salts, enzymes, and water. Its key role is to “take nutrients, hormones, and proteins to the parts of the body that need it”.
In addition to these facts, plasma also serves as a garbage bag wherein cells put their waste products, and eventually helps remove these wastes from the body. Also, blood plasma carries all parts of the blood all throughout a person’s circulatory system.
To put it simply, just like any other blood compositions, plasma also plays a vital role in the overall health and wellbeing of our body particularly the circulatory system.
In addition, plasma also plays a critical role in the treatments of a lot of serious health problems, which is the very reason why there are so many blood drives asking people to donate blood plasma.
Before moving on, you may want to check this video by Simple Side Hustles wherein he tackles donating plasma. Particularly, sharing how one can donate plasma and make money out of it. If interested, just hit the play button below.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO DONATE BLOOD PLASMA?
The University of Rochester Medical Center says that to be able to donate blood plasma, one has to go through a screening process. The process is done to help ensure that the person’s blood is safe and healthy, which is understandable because nobody wants to receive unsafe blood, anyway, right?
Once a person qualifies as a donor of blood plasma, he or she will then have to spend an hour and a half at a clinic per follow-up visit.
By the way, during the screening process, health practitioners will also have to check if the donor is:
- Between 18 to 69 years of age
- Weighs over 110 pounds
- Need to pass a basic physical examination
- Must not be a carrier of any infectious diseases
- Must have suitable levels of hemoglobin, iron, and blood
- Have a legal government ID or Social Security Card (to prove you’re a US citizen)
The requirements actually vary depending on the company conducting the donation drive or the state you are in. For example, in Nebraska, they require donors to be 19 years or older and has to present a written consent.
In some very common instances, requirements may also include checking if the person had piercings or tattoos recently or within the last 12 months.
Some states also have a minimum number of donations allowed, which means, if the person has reached that limit, you can no longer donate and make money from donating plasma.
Now, if for instance, the person did not qualify for plasma donation, the center may give either a temporary or permanent deferral. The prior is usually given to prospective donors who happen to be sick, recovering from the latest procedure, or if his or her level of iron, hemoglobin or blood are too low during the examination.
Meanwhile, the latter is given to those people who have medical conditions or are not qualify based on the age and weight limit provided.
According to URMC, people whose blood type is AB has the greatest demand for plasma donation. Blood type AB is very rare making up just 2 out of every 50 people. Needless to say, their plasma is universal, which means it can be used by anyone regardless of blood type.
HOW TO DONATE BLOOD PLASMA?
When donating blood plasma, you will need to take note of the following:
- Make sure you are hydrated (drink 8 glass or more of water a day).
- You have a healthy and balanced diet (include heart-healthy meals such as fruits, vegetables, and fish; avoid super fatty food that is high in cholesterol).
- You do not drink caffeinated drinks and/or alcohol.
- You have all the necessary paperwork.
Once you have ticked off the above-mentioned, you will need to prepare now to visit a blood plasma donation center. Later on, we will share with you where to find one.
Once you are in the donation center, as mentioned earlier, you will then be screened to ensure you are fit to donate blood plasma. You should not encounter any problem as long as you follow all that’s needed to be done prior to the donation of blood plasma.
Note that as a donor, you do not necessarily need to have money to donate plasma. It’s obviously the other way around.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DONATE BLOOD PLASMA?
The process of donating blood plasma depends on the number of times you have donated already.
If it’s your first time, the process usually takes an hour and a half up to two hours.
Once you are in a plasma donation center, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your health history. After that, you will have to go through a very basic physical examination, which includes heart check, urine test, and testing of your reflexes. They will also prick your finger to check your iron, hemoglobin, and blood levels.
Once you are cleared, the process of taking blood from you will then start. You will be asked to sit in a semi-reclined chair for the whole process.
Basically, the process is pretty similar to the usual blood donation, but to give you an idea on the whole plasma process, here’s an overview of how it’s done:
- First, they get the plasma from your body by drawing your blood.
- Second, they will separate the plasma using what they call a plasmapheresis machine, and then they will return your blood back to your body.
Normally, the whole process takes a while the first time, but on the next few donations, it should not take that long anymore.
HOW FREQUENT CAN A PERSON DONATE BLOOD PLASMA?
How often you can donate blood plasma depends on place to place basis. However, the American Red Cross only allows a person to donate blood plasma once every 28 days.
Meanwhile, private blood donation enters allow up to twice in 7 days with at least one day in between. So, it’s best to as the center how frequent they allow a person to donate plasma to be sure.
Generally speaking though, the rule is to donate no more than twice a week, and the donation has to have at least 24 to 48 hours apart. Such time apart allows your body to replace the plasma that was lost from donating.
DOES IT HURT TO DONATE BLOOD PLASMA?
One of the common concerns among people who are new to the idea of donating blood plasma is if the process of drawing blood hurts.
If you have tried donating blood before, how it feels is basically the same. It’s no more or less painful than that.
Earlier, we mentioned them pricking your finger to check your iron, hemoglobin, and blood levels. Apart from that, phlebotomists will use a needle and IV to draw your blood, and they will use the same to return the plasma-less blood to your body.
When returning your plasma-less blood to your body, they mix it with saline. The blood and saline mixture tends to be very cold, and in some people, it may cause discomfort. To address it, you may consider bringing a blanket or a jacket with you.
Other than what we have mentioned, there should be no other complication. But in case you encounter discomforts other than these, make sure to inform the phlebotomist right away.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF DONATING BLOOD PLASMA?
Apart from thinking about making money from donating plasma, we thought it’s right that you also know the pros and cons of donating blood plasma.
Having said that, here are some of the major benefits you get from donating blood plasma:
- Donating plasma helps save lives.
- You do not necessarily have to schedule an appointment if you want to donate blood plasma.
- Donating regularly helps you live a healthy and safe lifestyle, and stay hydrated.
- Of course, donating plasma lets you make money from it.
Generally, there really are no major cons when donating blood plasma. But just so you know, when donating blood plasma, you do not have access to knowing where your plasma goes, or if they will use it to produce a product, you will also have no idea. Another thing is that, apart from you making money from donating plasma, companies or centers where you donated it to also makes profit out of your plasma when people in need approach them.
If you are okay with these, then there should not be a problem.
HOW MUCH DOES A PERSON MAKE FROM DONATING BLOOD PLASMA?
How much money do you get from donating plasma depends on some factors, which include:
How frequent you donate blood plasma
The quantity of plasma you donated
How much you weigh
The donation center you choose to donate your blood plasma with
Usually, if it’s your first time to donate plasma, you make more money from it.
Now, generally, you can expect to make money from donating plasma between $20 and $50 per donation. Again, your first donation will earn you more money. Technically, because the process takes longer than the next donations you will make.
For those who weigh more, expect to earn more. This is because the Food and Drugs Administration or FDA requires you give a specific amount of plasma that corresponds to your body weight.
The ranges are split up as:
- 110-149 pounds
- 150-174 pounds
- 175-400 pounds
There are people who have a certain type of plasma that is high demand. If you happen to be one of them, expect to make money from donating plasma even more. Also, there are centers who pay more to people who they consider as “frequent flyer”.
Generally, donation centers pay you in the form of prepaid debit cards. However, there are some centers also that give your payment through rewards points that are redeemable in cash or certain merchandise — depending on your choice.
So, if you come to think of it, you earn more if you donate plasma regularly.
WHERE TO DONATE BLOOD PLASMA?
Now, it’s time to share with you some of the centers where you can donate and make money from donating plasma.
Note that the FDA inspects and regulates plasma donation centers for legal compliance. Thus, it’s better to check first that the center where you are going to donate plasma is FDA-approved.
Here are some of the centers that are FDA-approved:
Locations: AZ, AR, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
Payment amount: up to $50 for each donation (plus a bonus for the second weekly test)
Biotest Plasma Center
Locations: AR, FL, GA, IA, NC, NE, NM, OH, PA, SC, SD, TX
Payment amount: up to $50 for your first five donations, $35-45 for subsequent donations; offers a refer-a-friend program and sweepstakes to earn more
Locations: AL, FL, GA, LA, NC, NY, SC
Payment amount: up to $50 for your first five donations
Locations: AL, AZ, CO, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA, WV, WI
Payment amount: up to $50 per donation; offers monthly promotions
Grifols (owns Biomat USA, Plasmacare, Inc., Talecris)
Locations: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI
Payment amount: up to $25 per donation; offers a refer-a-friend program
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MONEY FROM DONATING PLASMA
Blood plasma plays a vital role in ensuring our body, particularly the circulatory system functions well. Unfortunately, some people are in need of it. Thus, donation drives for blood plasma are regularly done.