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Donating blood plasma is a great way to earn extra cash to pay off debt or build your emergency fund.
I’ve had some experience donating plasma at my local Octapharma Plasma donor center, and it may seem strange, but it’s a great way to make extra money every week.
I used money earned during my plasma donation stint to put extra money towards our debt snowball and pay for groceries (so I could put more money towards the debt). Boring, I know. But those were our needs!
Whatever your needs are, donating blood plasma may be the easiest way for you to make money fast.
Other Ways to Earn Cash (Aside from Donating Plasma)
What is Blood Plasma? And What’s the Difference Between Plasma and Blood?
Blood plasma is the liquid component of blood, in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended.
It constitutes about 55% of the blood’s volume and consists mostly of water that contains dissolved salts (electrolytes) and proteins.
The major protein in plasma is albumin.
The primary purpose of plasma is to transport nutrients, hormones, and proteins to the parts of the body that need it.
Cells also deposit their waste products into the plasma. The plasma, in turn, helps remove this waste from the body.
Blood plasma donation also ushers the movement of all the elements of blood through the circulatory system.
How Often Can You Donate Plasma?
First, you’re probably wondering how often you can donate plasma for extra money.
Check with your doctor to make sure you’re a healthy candidate for donating blood plasma. And if you’re looking for an affordable alternative to health insurance, check out my review of Christian Healthcare Ministries.
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You’re only allowed to donate plasma twice in any seven day period, with 48 hours of rest in between donations.
So if you plan your first donation for Tuesday, you won’t be able to donate again until Thursday.
The following week, you won’t be able to donate again until Tuesday since your first donation was on Tuesday.
Staff will tell you it is absolutely vital that you come for your second donation.
Even if you absolutely hated the first experience, you really need to show up and donate at least one more time the first week so that they can actually use the plasma you donated the first visit. Otherwise, it’ll have to be destroyed.
From Octapharma Plasma’s website: “It’s important to come back for your second visit. The first time you donate plasma we test your donation sample to make sure it’s safe to use in life-saving medicines.
We can’t use your first plasma donation until after you make your second one, so don’t forget to come back and donate again 2 to 14 days after your first visit.”
If you are unsure about your health, have a look at BodyNutrtion.org. They have lots of great information about keeping your body as healthy as possible.
Octapharma Plasma: What to Expect Your First Visit
Your first visit can take up to 2 hours because it includes a health screening and tests to make sure you can donate plasma.
You’ll need to bring identification including your driver’s license, your social security card (a copy won’t work), and proof of address so the center can reach you by mail for up to eight weeks post-donation.
After that, each visit takes less time – about an hour to an hour and a half. I’ve actually gotten in and out of Octapharma Plasma in 45 minutes on several occasions.
It’s a matter of choosing the best time of day (earlier) before peak busy times.
You’ll enter the blood plasma donation center and after entering your information into a computer screen, the staff member assisting you will hand you a binder or booklet with information about the process including the process, risk factors, and potential side effects.
After you’ve read the entire binder, the staff will give you access to a video that explains the entire process.
After watching the video, you’ll be directed to a cubicle where a technician will do a short health screening just to check your red blood cell count (the dreaded finger prick), protein, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and weight.
What Happens During the Blood Plasma Donation Exam?
During the blood plasma donation exam, you’ll be moved to an exam room where a staff member (or two if you prefer) will ask several questions about your medical history and any tattoos and/or piercings you have currently or have gotten in the past 12 months.
If you’ve had body art or piercings in the past 12 months, you’ll be deferred (unable to donate) for a full year from the date of your last procedure.
They’ll also ask about any past surgeries and medications you’re currently taking.
Don’t get freaked out when they ask you to take off your shoes and socks.
They’ll want to check between your fingers and toes for needle marks to ensure you haven’t been shooting up.
Fact: If you’re an illegal drug user, including steroids or human growth hormone, you won’t be able to donate. Staff employees are trained to know the signs, and you won’t be able to hide it.
Once you’ve passed the prescreening and exam, you’ll be able to make your first donation!
Does Donating Plasma Hurt?
At my local center (Octapharma Plasma Springfield IL), you follow the arrow and seat yourself.
Staff will ask for your name and donor number (usually the last 4 digits of your social security number).
They clean the injection site with iodine, and they insert a needle for the plasmapheresis process (extracting your blood, separating the plasma, and putting your blood back into your body).
The needle feels exactly like an IV. It only hurts if they can’t get a vein, blow a vein, or you wiggle around a lot during the process.
I suggest taking one of these to squeeze so that your flow isn’t interrupted and you’re able to complete the process faster.
You have to constantly pump, or squeeze, your hand while the machine is extracting blood. You might also want to pick up one of this week’s Amazon best-selling books to keep you busy since you can’t use your phone while donating.
How Much Do You Get Paid to Donate Plasma?
There are a couple of different variables to consider when determining how much you get paid donating plasma.
You have to weigh at least 110 pounds to be eligible for plasma donation.
Different blood plasma donation companies pay different amounts, so I can only share my experience with Octapharma.
Every month, Octapharma Plasma has a New Donor Promotion in which Octapharma Plasma pays $50 each donation for the first five visits (regardless of weight).
So if you donate twice per week, you will earn $250 after just 2.5 weeks! That’s quite a bit of grocery or debt snowball money,
After your New Donor bonus has been earned, you’ll be paid on a scale per donation based on weight.
If you weigh less than 150 pounds, my local Springfield IL Octapharma Plasma center pays $20 per donation ($40 per week plus bonus potential).
If you weigh 150+ pounds, you’ll earn more ($20 the first donation of the week, and $45 the second donation if you weigh under 175 pounds).
Plasma pay varies based on location and weight.
April WEEKLY Frequency Bonus From Octapharma Plasma’s website:
This April (2018) Octapharma Plasma donors in my area are eligible for a BONUS on their 2nd donation of each week!
- Mon. 4/2 – Sun. 4/8 – $20+
- Mon. 4/9 – Sun. 4/15 – $20+
- Mon. 4/16 – Sun. 4/22 – $10+
- Mon. 4/23 – Sun. 4/29 – $10+
Donate 2x/week and earn $60-$75 TOTAL* in April bonus payments.
The bonus is automatically applied to your Octapharma Plasma prepaid card. Date range: April 01, 2018 – April 30, 2018
Long Term Effects of Donating Plasma
I donated blood plasma off and on for a couple of years, and I experienced two side effects.
- Scarring – My arms are scarred for life. It has been months since I’ve donated plasma, and I still have visible scarring at the venipuncture site.
- Exhaustion – If you become a frequent, regular plasma donor, you might notice that you’re more tired than usual on days you donate. I’m not quite sure why this is, but I just felt drained after awhile. Thankfully, my blog is now earning a consistent $1000-2000 per month and I don’t have to donate plasma.
If you’re interested in learning how to start a money-making blog, check out my easy tutorial.
Is it Dangerous to Donate Plasma?
Here’s the thing. I don’t think the occasional blood plasma donation is dangerous. You need to make sure that the technicians are changing gloves each and every time that they handle you.
Let me explain: During the screening process (which happens every time you donate), the techs perform a finger prick, and even just the smallest bit of blood on their gloves mixed with your blood puts you at danger of infection or disease.
Techs can get lazy and not want to change gloves after each and every patient. If you notice this, RUN. But first, tell a supervisor. It’s incredibly irresponsible and puts every single person at risk.
I don’t tell you this to scare you, but it’s a real concern. As far as the donation process itself, there are other risk factors such as:
- Bruising and discomfort.
- Citrate reaction.
- Arterial puncture
Is Octapharma Plasma Near Me?
Octapharma Plasma Centers are located in larger metropolitan areas. Click here to find a local Octapharma Plasma Center near you.
Octapharma Plasma Rewards
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