What's Involved In Giving Plasma?
When we talk about giving plasma, it's usually assumed that we are going to donate it, although, selling your plasma is an alternative. Either way, you're performing a useful service. Plasma, also called blood plasma, is the liquid part of your blood. It's not red, the color you will see flowing through tubes or into containers when you give blood, but more of a watery yellow color.
In almost, but not quite the same as giving blood when you participate in this activity, since the plasma can't be separated from the blood while it's still in your body. Once the blood leaves your body the blood cells and platelets are spun off, leaving just the plasma. That plasma can be used in many different ways, and whether it's donated or a price has been paid for it doesn't add or subtract from its value.
Not everyone can donate plasma, or to be more precise, not everyone should. When visiting a plasma center, every donor has to provide information on their background and medical history to ensure the plasma they are donating or selling is safe. Drug use, sexual behavior, and the presence of a systemic disease, or even past association with certain diseases, can disqualify a potential donor. This is of course as it should be, as if any of us were in need of plasma we would like to think it contains no harmful bacteria, viruses, or other unpleasant things.
Part of the screening process will include a blood test, a single drop being all that is needed. Even though you live a good, wholesome, and healthy life, there may be days, for whatever reason, your plasma isn't quite up to snuff, perhaps due to an infection or flu-like ailment, and you may be asked to come back at a later time.
You Get Something Back - When giving plasma you get something back, aside from either cash, or the good feeling that goes along with donating a vital fluid. You get your red and white blood cells back! As mentioned earlier, they are separated from the liquid in your blood, the plasma, and returned to your body. Unlike a donation of blood, you don't have to wait an extended period of time to enable your body to build up your red blood count to normal levels before donating again. Giving plasma can be done much more frequently than giving blood, since the body replaces plasma quickly.
Why People Give Blood But Sell Plasma - Some individuals are in the habit of giving plasma two times a week, a schedule that would not be sustainable, and in fact would be very harmful, if it were blood that was being given. For this reason, more people who give plasma are apt to sell it, while most people who give blood tend to donate it. Considering the fact that one could earn $40 to $50 a week selling their plasma, it's no wonder that the idea is attractive to many as a source of some extra income.
A Noble Thing - Whether you sell or donate your plasma you can rest assured you are doing a good and noble thing. There is always a need for blood, and there is always a need from plasma, and there always will be. Giving plasma is a feel-good thing, requiring not much in the way of time, is generally painless (except for the needle prick), and not terribly inconvenient. The risk of experiencing a negative side effect is somewhere between rare and very rare. Just don't jump up and start moving around rapidly the moment the needle is withdrawn and you'll be fine. Sit back, drink a beverage, and relax a few minutes before getting up. Then you can get on with your daily activities.