Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Risks and Side Effects of Donating Plasma


I had concerns about plasma donation dangers and searched the web, but have not found any clear straight forward answers regarding the long-term effects on plasma donations on an ongoing basis. I've donated more plasma and led more road races than I care to admit in the last two years, so I can attest that plasma donation does not have that much of a negative effect health-wise.

However, there are possible harmful side effects to be aware of before accepting the needle.

I've seen tens of thousands of plasma donors, and it is generally a safe process with few adverse reactions. There have been cases of donors developing a form of hepatitis in facilities with unsanitized equipment. Today, the donation of plasma is widespread and is considered an act of generosity.

 Biolife Plasma Services is licensed and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and must comply with strict safety regulations in order to ensure product quality and safety of both donors and patients who received life-saving plasma products. Collecting plasma machines are fairly sophisticated in order to ensure that RBCs are not damaged. I am a phlebotomist at a plasma donation center, the person holding the needle in my hand and accompanying you throughout your donation.

Risks of Plasma Donation

There are some possible side effects that occur after each plasma donation, typical for everyone. You'll probably notice that every time you donate, you feel very thirsty. Ruether said the dangers of donating body fluids (including plasma, platelets, and giving blood) include vein damage over time, causing them to harden with scarring. Instead, drink water, milk or juice the day before donating, and once you are done, especially if you do not feel thirsty. This is usually due to not eating enough  before donation, or being dehydrated.


There's really not much side effects donating blood plasma for most people, especially with careful safety precautions before you go and after you're through.

There is very little risk to plasma donating.

Frequent donations decrease plasma levels of serum immunoglobulins, possibly increasing infection risk by lowering your immune system. Donating blood plasma isn't bad for you if you do it within four hours of eating a good meal. But if you want to help someone, you first need to think if it's good for your health background and check thoroughly if you are healthy enough to avoid harmful effects of donating.

I'm not saying that everyone should donate plasma for extra money. The entire donation process takes about 45 min to 1 h.

Like the more destructive activities involving needles (drugs, steroids, etc.), the  plasma donation needle punctures the vessel, which is bad for your vein health. As far as people do not understand the whole donation process, Its not complicated.

Plasma is composed of a 70% H2O and salt water. Plasma donation centers also use a 17 or 16 gage needle to ensure that the cells are not damaged during return. Dehydration is also a leading cause of many other harmful effects that are associated with plasma donation, such as dizziness and weakness. Donating plasma is usually done by donating blood, while plasma are separated from the cells.

Short Term Vs. Long Term Effects

If you are a regular plasma donor, you'll feel some short term side effects after donating - like dehydration, tired feeling, chest pain, weak/rapid pulse, and a dizzyness or a sore arm. But in the short term, there's little possible risk of donating. There are more long term disadvantages to donating than short term disadvantages.

Repeat or regular plasma donors might develop serious long-term effects that are bad for their health, like after donating regularly for months or years.

Long term plasma donation lowers immunoglobin levels, which affects the immune system and puts donors at risk for serious health complications like pneumonia. You start to feel physically run down and unhealthy after donating for extended periods of time.

Over time possible plasma donation complications include lowering serotonin and endorphin levels in the blood, making depression, mental disorders, and increased anxiety or panic attacks worse. Those at risk for, or previously diagnosed with depression or social anxiety are taking unhealthy risks by plasma donating long term. Regular plasma donations may have a harmful effect of lowering mental health state and weakening the immune system over time.

Are there Risks or Disadvantages for plasma recipients?

There is a warning issued back in 2001 by the FDA, which stated that plasma recipients faced the possible side effects of contracting pulmonary syndrome whose medical name is Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI). In the case of plasma donation, plasma was separated and detached from the blood and then returns the blood to the blood donor system.

If you donate twice a week at the clinic Mankato Biolife, it's good for $ 180 a month ($ 20 per donation, plus a $ 20 bonus to donating at least once a week this month). These are a few pointers based on my own experience donating:

Plasma is made up mostly of water and protein, so that the process of donating it may deprive you of healthy nutrients. If you donate too much, the possible side effects of plasma donating include a small scar on the hand.

But there is another reason to heed this advise, not just the day before, but after the donation process is over: donating blood plasma dehydrates the body to unhealthy levels.

Mind you, this is my only truly painful/harmful experience of 7 years in donating blood and three years of plasma donating. It was cold and I started getting symptoms about 8 hours after donating.


What is a plasma donation?

Plasma is the yellow liquid and consists of mostly water and some proteins that are essential for the proper functioning of the body. To summarize, although there is a potential risk/danger to the donor plasma and plasma recipients, there are some measures that have been taken by the medical staff and the hospital. Automated plasmapheresis machines remove whole blood, it mixes with the anticoagulant, separates the plasma into the container, and then flows into the red blood cells back into the body.

There are disadvantages to plasma donating. Loss of plasma in your system can make you feel sick after donating, leaving you more susceptible to the flu and other common colds.


Hold off on the yard work


Besides,  physical activity or exercise immediately after donating can also cause many of the harmful symptoms, especially if you are a new donor. I've been plasma donating since 1991 every two weeks straight, missing one full year in 1995. I am sure, however, that if you dig enough you can find a horror story or two, but behind it's the truth about blood plasma donation as well.

If one's blood system is unhealthy, or for some reason does not produce enough plasma, then they need transfusion from plasma donors. If you are in good health, donating blood does not cause any permanent side effects. According to experts, a person can donate plasma every 48 hours, but he / she should do it twice a week.

There are certain harmful effects that you could possibly experience during your donation. Plasma donations (like platelet donations) have been around for many years and new technologies monitor cells in a centrifuge. These symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and sometimes shock. So, overall go donate plasma helps millions of people, and for free money! I would not recommend going for a 10 mile run immediately after the donation, but if you drink a bottle of water and grab a small snack, you should be fine.

I've heard people say they donate plasma leaves them exhausted and too tired to do anything after that. In addition, since the donation schedule is flexible, you can make it work around your schedule exercise. There are two cycles in the whole process.

The electrolytes in sports drinks like Gatorade actually help replenish your system faster, so it is recommended to drink something like that after the donation. Plasma then goes to the bottle and your blood stays in the bowl. Processes of plasma and blood plasma donations are similar but not the same. Other organizations say it is bad for your health to donate plasma more than 12 times a year.


Drink plenty of water


You are advised to drink plenty of water the day before you donate.

The cons of plasma donating are discomfort in some cases even a little painful, but it should stop being so very quickly. The process of taking the plasma from the body is called plasmapheresis. The industry does not tend to market a plasma donation for poor people. Usually the bad feelings will pass after a few minutes, and then you can go about your business. However, it is important to keep drinking water after you finish donating. You should not have to experience the pain that I had, and I hope that it does not stop you from donating again.

As long as you eat a good meal, healthy, and maintenance guidelines that go along with plasma donating will be fine. If you decide to donate plasma, you should be aware of the risks and take precautions so as to leave no chances. If you ever experience a tired feeling after plasma donating you are probably under stress, not sleeping or eating poorly and not drinking enough fluids. I was a phlebotomist at a plasma donation center when I was in college. I asked Pat Ruether, a local nutritionist about it. If your protein levels are low, plasma donating can have harmful effects. Low protein means you will not be able to donate (they check the protein and iron levels during check-in at Biolife).

How Often Can I Donate?


It is all right to donate plasma twice a week, but if you donate too much or too often, you may face dangerous problems with low blood protein hemoglobin in the blood and in the urine.

You won't die from donating your plasma. However, plasma is used to make a number of critical care drugs that people will die without.

This can all be avoided if you drink lots of water and eat a meal before going to the hospital to donate plasma. Another downside is that plasma donating anti-coagulant can give metallicy strange taste in the mouth, or in your case, obviously, numb lips. Give your body some time to rest after donating before going for his daily jog, mow the lawn, or aerobics class.

A drawback is that plasma donating is a pain most of the time, it just takes a little longer. I made a mistake going there after eating Pagliai's for lunch. Make sure you drink plenty of water leads to donation (especially the day before) and add protein to your diet as possible. For most people, donating blood plasma has few bad feeling side effects, and whatever there is is usually quite mild.

One can donate plasma in almost every hospital in the U.S., as it is considered a routine procedure with few consequences. The only reason you would ever feel sick or nauseated after getting plasma drawn will be because you will have a reaction. Plasma regenerates quickly into your system, and most of the facilities (Biolife included) recover their red blood cell donation for you when the cycle is completed. Drinking sugary drinks can dehydrate and fatty foods can make your plasma more difficult to draw. Many students earn their pocket money from plasma donation, as it paid $ 15-20 each time you go to the hospital to donate.

How to Avoid Risks When Donating Plasma

Donating your plasma is a risky business, and hard on the body. To avoid passing out, blood loss, lumbago, nerve damage, and other common side effects, follow these 3 guidelines to minimize your risk:

1.) Eat protein packed foods, like peanut butter, spinach, egg yolks, bacon, or red fish

2.) Eat something high in slow-metabolizing sugar: plasma donation drains the body's sugars, but a sugar rush and crash won't help either. Eat high-energy, slow metabolizing meals to avoid passing out, like whole-grain cereal, brown rice, high-fiber bars, and fruits like apples.

3.) NEVER smoke right before plasma donation. Smoking (both cigarettes and "medical" marijuana) is a definite no-no! It raises your blood pressure, making you disqualified from donation, and also thins your blood, resulting in more risk of blood loss.

Is Donating Plasma Safe?

I've heard it all since I started donating two years ago, but the bottom line is: plasma donation is a safe, effective way to earn money and save lives in the process.

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82 comments:

  1. Donating plasma is good for the people that need it however I have donated at least 600 times at 880 milliliters for the past 6-7 years and developed a severe bout of pneumonia due to my immuniglobulin g being low which caused an infection mass in my lung. CSL plasma services being a 12 billion dollar industry should have screened my blood for the possibility of my immuniglobulin levels being low and deferring me due to the amount of donations and the increased risk factors due to long term donating. As far as I am concerned, they are negligent in their screening processes for long term donors and I will be seeking damages. The very drugs that I help create from my plasma could possibly be the ones that I have to pay for and take. Tell me who wins with that scenario...CSL Plasma

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    1. I am about to call 911 after my husband donated. He must be dehydrated. I gave him some water and a peanut butter sandwich. His blood pressure is very low. 85/53. I think I should call 911. All this for 20.00. Awful. Will be calling a lawyer tomorrow.

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    2. But he chose to do it, that is why there is a screening process. he wasn't forced to donate

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    3. So your husband's blood pressure is 85/53 and you decide to go online to complain about it instead of calling your doctor or going to the E.R.? Sure, that makes sense.

      Good luck winning that case in court. You have no shot. Your husband elected to give plasma, and he was monitored throughout. If his b.p. dropped after getting home, the donation center isn't responsible.

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    4. @OP: How often did you donate? This article states you can donate twice a week, even though that is far more often than is allowed in Australia. Even if you went to the American Red Cross, they would only accept a plasma donation once every 28 days.

      If you don't give your body enough time between donations to replenish itself, then it makes sense that regular donations whittle away at certain elements of your blood over time

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    5. They tell you when you walk in that they dont do a full check.they only check to see if mainly the plasma is ok.so nobody cant get mad when they failed to check up with there doctors before doing it

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  2. My husband donated today and since then has had extremely low blood pressure. He almost passed out. I wanted to call 911 but he did not want me to. I am very worried about him and am still thinking I should call 911. He is very stubborn. I know he is dehydrated. He has drank a glass of water since he got home hours ago. He has not been eating well and drinks soda through out the day. His blood pressure was low before he went. I checked it myself. I am scared for him to go to sleep. He is pale and his skin is cold. Very weak and dizzy. For only 20.00. So not worth it. I do not think they even paid attention to his blood pressure. If something happens to him, I promise someone will pay for not doing their job. I would not recommend for anyone to do it. We need money is why he did it. I am now reading online that the day before he is supposed to drink a lot of water the day before and afterwards. He was never told this nor to eat a good healthy meal. People for the most part that are donating because they need the money. These types of people are probably not eating well. Both of us are jobless. I would have done it but my license is expired. The heat was unbearable today too. They should pay the least being 75.00 for something that is so valuable and ends up making the donator with serious side effects.

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    1. You get a pamphlet that clearly states to avoid sugar such as soda and coffee before your donation. Also included in that pamphlet it says to eat a large meal at least within 3 hours prior to your donation. It's important to read those things before you commit to donating a large amount of fluids from your body.

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    2. So your husbands life is not worth $20 but $75. Please go call 911 and leave the internet to the adults. Your making this forum look bad.

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    3. That is RIDICULOUS to be so upset.. the screening process to donate is VERY THOROUGH.. and takes about 2 hours.. for new donors. New donors are given physicals. and they are not QUICK ones.. they are THOROUGH. If your husband LIED about his health.. to make some money.. that is his problem. It is the donor center's job to assure that everybody is healthy. And they are very STRICT. I have been to 3 of them in my life time. If any of my labs or vitals are even 1 unit off.. then I would be defered. healthy or not. Your husband chose to do this. the procedure was fully explained to him. If he is heavy.. they probably took a lot. And he just needs to dring ELECTROLYTE FLUIEDS.. not water.. because that would go right through him.. it is the electrolytes he lost nad that retain the water.. to increase the blood volume which will bring his BP back to normal. Get some education before suing.. the person who will take your money while laughing is the lawyer.. and then your education will be given to you in the court room my dear. Anger without education never pays. And how could you have the time to write here , when you should be calling a nurse on call or visiting the doctor.. your husband was DEHYDRATED!! And HOW do you know what his BLOOD pressure is anyhow silly lady.. ? I hope you did not use the cough at RITE AID or something? GET REAL and stop wasting yoru time and take care of your husband.. go by some gator aide. get his bp checked at the clinic. REally no big deal.

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    4. I donate twice a week and they check my protien and immunoglobin levels every time. I'm not sure where u are going but

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    5. I switched from OctaPharma to csl plasma and csl gave me no physical at all i had bloodwork done 4 times at octapharma in 1 year and csl plasma hasn't screened my blood 1 single time... also up to 1.1/3 in from the hole is hard painful and swollen what are the risks of infection and if i caught 1 how would i take care of it i only ask because in everything i read the vaguest part is infection.

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  3. U should not donate for money u should donate cause u are saving someones life ..wow we live in a world that revoles around a peice of paper I want to thank everyone who donates for the right reasons.with ur help people get to spend more time on this earth with their loved ones most people who need this have cancer, u never know one day when u might need to favor returned

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    1. Tell that to the multi billion dollar plasma industry that is making a profit on your blood... paying you around 20 dollars, and then selling it for around 1000 dollars.

      Btw nobody is stopping YOU PERSONALLY from donating for free. Go ahead, give them their 20 dollars back.

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    2. LOL iktr no give the 20 to me!

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    3. If somebody donates for the money, are the people who receive it helped less? If somebody were to line up a bunch of patients who received blood products, do you think you could tell the difference between people who received blood from noble donors and people who received blood from people who were paid?

      People like you love to pretend that money isn't a big deal--that doing things for money is crude. Maybe money can't buy happiness, but to somebody who needs pain medication, or food, or shelter, it can make the difference between having the ability to function and have a life, or not.

      If you are in a place in life where you are safe and your needs are being taken care of, then great, do stuff for free. For the rest of us, we will do our best to find ways of getting money that fit our own moral codes, and getting a bit of money in exchange for stressing your own body and saving somebody else? Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that.

      If you doubt that, go ask somebody whose life was saved by blood products and tell them that the person who donated was *gasp* PAID! See if they react with disgust and horror. Go on. I'll wait.

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    4. I donated last night (in Alberta Canada), we don't get paid for it, purely for the fact that we can help people.

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    5. That was a caring act. But should you be exhaulted for it. Did the center even tell you thank you for using you to make money for them?

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    6. Why would you donate for free when they're making $1000.00 from YOUR plasma? If they were giving it away for free that would make sense but giving a company something for free that they make thousands of dollars off of sounds idiotic to me.

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    7. Hey, I get to eat tonight and might be able to get a haircut at the end of the month if I can make rent.

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  4. I have never gonevto a plasma donation in a bad area of town so idk what u are talking about or where u live. But I donated in 1999 and have been for the last month n a half. No problems. Most staff is excellent, super clean environment, all diff. Genders and ethnicities. Though I do have to admitt a lot are college students. But as longas u eat right n stay hydrated which u should be doing anyway u should be fine. Occationally people have bad reactions to the process but few. Yes I am poor but I also do it to help others. One way I can give back since I cannot work. Yeah I'm aware I coukd be getting more money but its just to help save up for things I need that I can't afford on my disability like oil changes, my car registrstion, and tires. So knock me and others that benifit from the money but remember do not judge lest u be judged. I'm not religious I just think that is a great truth. I just wanted to tell my story to give more perspective.

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    1. are you aware that if you are getting SSD and making money under the table by donating that SSD may not be very happy about that? I wouldn't be spreading it around on the internet that you are receiving SSD and money you don't pay taxes on.

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  5. if you are giving plasma in return of money...how can you call it a donation???

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    1. Actually you ARE donating your plasma. You get paid for your time (takes me around and hour and a half).

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    2. And the government and state still want those monies filed on taxes!

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    3. Well too bad for the government. I would like to see tax dollars spent to build homeless shelters and end world hunger, instead of build bombs. It's survival mode for a lot people as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer! Anyway, I donated Plasma for the second time yesterday. I came home and slept for hours and today my legs are just aching! I eat well and drink plenty of water. It is hard on the body and donors should definitely be paid more!

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  6. Haha what else are you gonna call it? Hmmm hey its time to go prostitute my blood guys. See ya later;) Hey I gotta go get that money, Im gonna sell my plas. I think donating is just what they call it to simplify it, even though the definition isn't proper.

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  7. I am thinking about donating plasma since I need to save money for a dentist appointment that I must have...it's helpful to know and to hear both side...my take on this is that it really is up to the clinic you donate at and you the individual because everyone is differet. Thanks for all the comments!

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  8. Damn its hard out here so people have to do what they have to do to put food on their tables but the money needs to be at least 100 dollars that's a fare amount for my blood and verybody else we need to protest it will help alot pass the word around OK.

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  9. I donated for the first time but was not sure how it all worked. A friend of mine was the one who told me about the program. The day that I went I was not sure how the process worked and I am one of those people who like to do the research first, but I didn't. Shame on me! I did not eat anything before, but drank my coffee as usual. During the process I was nervous but remained calm. The last 10-15 of the process I was experiencing dizziness, a burst of heat throughout my body, felt like I was going to pass out, and was wanting something to drink. I literally thought I was going to die. Thank god for the well trained staff because all I wanted to do was rip out the needle and get the hell out of there. Because I needed the money, I had to go back again a few days later. I did return, but I ate a healthy breakfast, drank lots of water the night before to hydrate my body. When they drew my plasma that second time, it went very smooth, just remember...you have to follow what they tell you do before and after the process. Lots of water before and after, and a good well balanced meal helps.

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  10. I don't understand why some people would donate their plasma if they drink alcohol. I have to share this story...I live near a military base and one of the assistants working for the center told me after the process don't drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours after the fact or I would be a cheap date (joking around), cause the alcohol does affect the body. She also said that military guys come in to donate, to get their beer money. Well I was at this center for 5 1/2 hours as a first time donor. My last meal was at 10:30 a.m, by the time I left I was starving. I like to have a beer especially on an empty stomach. I have not drank anything type of alcohol beverage in two and a half weeks. I stopped by a friends house after donating, she and her husband have donated in the past, but her husband had drank alcohol just before he donated, and as soon as he got his money bought some beer. Well this afternoon when I stopped by to say hi they both were drinking beer. They asked me if I wanted one and at first I said no, but I was hungry and this is when I usually like to drink is on an empty stomach. I told him that the facility told me I could not drink anything for at least 24 hrs. He said he does it all the time right afterwords. SHAME ON ME!!! I cracked open that beer drank it, minutes later I felt like I wanted to throw up, I got a hot flash throughout my body and ran to the bathroom and flushed water all over my face and body. Feeling like I was going to DIE! I did throw up, and I immediately ate some cantelope and drank some water, minutes later ate a yogart. I was not sure if I was having a heart attack?? I was crying because I was so scared I thought I was going to have to call 911. Needless to say, the feelings went away moments later and I believe this was a result of the Alcohol. I learned my lesson and a scary one at that. Every person's body is different, even though this other person can drink alcohol, by body could not handle it. I just thank god I did not die cause it really scared the living poop out of me.

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  11. Shame on people that donate their plasma for money? It's easy to be self righteous, when you actually have money. My first year of law school I had to donate plasma a few times to get me by until my financial aid check arrived. People donating plasma for money is a heck of a better alternative, than what others do, when they need money. Next time you donate, instead of judging others, you should give that struggling college kid your $20.

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    1. Hey buster!! I'm a college kid and I give it to myself lol

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  12. My 22 year old daughter has been donating plasma twice a week for six months. She just recently came home from 8 days in the hospital after suffering from multiple pulmonary embolisms, including a large saddle embolism, which she could have died from. She is now on blood thinners for 6-9 months. While I can't get a doctor to FULLY commit to the fact that it was from plasma donation, I'm sure it had something to do with it as she is otherwise healthy. Just a warning for folks who are doing plasma donation excessively...you only have one body. Take care of it!

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    1. thanks. i needed to hear this! i've donated five times. i'm done! no money can compensate!

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    2. I hope you realize embolisims, heart attacks, and strokes are caused by blood clots. Many factors such as smoking, diabetes, birth control and just plain old genetics can cause clotting. Donating might have played a small role, but I'm guessing there was underlying condition that hadn't been diagnosed yet. from the sounds of it, you are one of those women who if their child was autistic and had vaccines, you would blame the vaccines, not realizing that autism can remain dormant and suddenly have something trigger it like vaccines, trama, etc. the reason the dr won't commit is because she probably has an underlying condition, that you weren't aware of.

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    3. I was diagnosed with multiple Pulmonary Emboli a couple of months after donating plasma 2 times a week for about 8 weeks. No doctor was able to share my concern about the plasma donation causing the clots but I strongly feel that it is the cause. I do not have any of the risk factors the doctors mentioned with no family history and a very health 28 yr old until the clots appeared out of the blue. I believe some one ought to look more closely into the long term effect of the anti-coagulants used during the plasma donation and the whole donation process. I am now on life time blood thinners very frustrating !!!!

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  13. I donated this morning, 5th time, Monday will be 6, that's twice a week for 3 weeks. I did it a few times years ago while in the military. I am very thin, lightweight, but even had they not told me, I knew already I was donating a good portion of fluid, which meant I'd better drink plenty before and after. I eat well enough, not great, I know that caffeine (coffee and colas) are diuretics, meaning you pee a lot, hence losing fluids, so already, common sense, I need to retain my fluids, so I avoid coffee and colas. I honestly expected to feel weak after my first donation, tall thin people sometimes have minor blood pressure issues, and minus so much body fluid I expected to feel faint. However, nothing at all happened. Each time I finish donating I walk down the street to a convenience store, buy a small gatoraide, down it, and usually head home via public transportation before eating anything. The previous time, last Monday, I had errands to run which required considerable walking, before going home. Still no problems. I am always waiting for a dizzy feeling, I don't want to be caught off guard, but again, I assure you, I have had absolutely no side effects. Where I go to donate, I can almost guarantee some patients must be doing hard drugs, for no other reason other than the surrounding neighborhoods they come from. And yet I see the same people, every week, and always new patients. I saw one girl, clean, surely not a user, probably a young mother, have to stay and relax awhile, she was obviously feeling weak or dizzy. I would guess she simply hadn't eaten enough beforehand. It was my first day, and I could tell she was a returning patient.

    Long story short, a few hundred people every day donate at this one center, and if you can only go twice a Week, I'd say one to two thousand a week are donating, with only one person, one time, having to sit awhile before going home. I get paid between 25 and 35 per donation, my first two were 40 and 60. I'm in between jobs, with my next one starting on the 11th, but even after, I won't mind (right now I need) the extra money, for no trouble, only the time spent. I am helping to save lives (I used to give blood whenever possible), instead I'd rather get paid.

    As long as you use Common Sense (seems uncommon these days), don't drink alcohol, drink Water or Gatoraide, eat well before and after (I bring a snack in case the wait is awhile), you should have no problems. Take a break from it once in awhile, you ARE depleting your body, repeatedly, of essential fluid and proteins.

    Other than that, good luck, and happy donating.

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  14. I give twice a week and have been now for over a year and have yet to experience any of the problems that individuals have mentioned on this blog. Not to say they can't happen, everyone's body is made up differently. I donate plasma because it's going for a worthy cause first and foremost. Secondly, I get paid for my plasma. I make a decent living with the job I have. To say I need the money would be a lie. My wife is always after me to stop going because she is concerned of the health risk. But after I read some articles to her a couple of days ago she feels better about it and is actually considering donating herself.

    Bottom line do whats best for you. PERIOD! I've seen ONE case in a year at the Octapharma Plasma donation center here in our city where a patient felt sick and faint. But she sat still, the nurses took special care of her, and in a few minutes she was up and gone. My donor number is 880 which is the highest level and it takes me about 48-52 minutes to give once the process starts.

    THE ONLY THING I AM ANNOYED BY IS THE STUPID QUESTIONAIRE THAT I HAVE TO ANSWER EVERY FREAKING TIME I GO. Sorry for the caps lol but it really does get on your nerves. And there have been occasions within the year that during giving and after I have felt a little anxiety or nervousness but nothing a quick bottle of water and a Gatorade want take care of.

    Go to the donation center and try it. You might like it. ALOT!

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  15. I guess Doctors and all healthcare staff should be free!! Last I checked when received any kind of medicine or blood I had too pay a whole lot more than 20$!! Leave people alone!! Guess what I did so my child would have a birthday cake! Gross I'm so awful

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  16. I have received blood and know that my insurance payed a pretty penny for it...so why shouldnt the donor get paid? If my insurance pays 2000 a bag why are donors only getting 20$ I know in my city they pay $50 a visit I was going to donate but don't qualify because I have low iron and blood I been out work11/2 yrs and would sell what I needed to take care of my kids people should be ashamed of their self righteousness to judge others NOTHING IN THIS WORLD IS FREE when u can receive blood free then I say donate free

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  17. I went to donate today and I was refused because my protein levels were to low. I get $70. a week I am unable to work at this time and now I have no way to make money. I do not know why my protein level is low. I do not starve myself. Not too happy.

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    1. it is still me yes the questions each and every time the same ones. Really, it did not change from two days ago or last week. I sell my plasma I do not get to go to Europe and I am too old to be pregnant. what is CJD? uuggh yeah I am frustrated I rather donate to get some $$$$ no I do not feel bad about it. If you want to donate and not get paid go to RedCross

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    2. Make sure you eat good lean protein the day before and the dqy of eggs are cheap and if you boil them toss the yoke its only 15 calories per egg instead of 60 calories so you could eat a lot of them with out gaining a lot of wight and boost your protein. Yu can also buy cheap protein powered its the cheapest protein source i could find most walmart have body force brand for lik 16 bks but I got some at Walgreen on sell for 9 bks and bought them all. Also make sure u are getting good iron and loads of water.

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    3. replies to the 2 anonymous repliers: and original:I am 5 donations in.I am a 55 yo non menstruating female.protein- heard someone at Plasma say-low protein= too much chicken.try regular liver,chicken livers-also eat canned beans esp.black beans- heat and season them a bit-can use red beans other canned beans but black beans are best-also use dark leafy greens for vitamin K source- kale is the best-canned easiest way to store and cook on a regular basis. I make "Plasma Stew" Boil a large pork roast down- cut up potatoes in large chunks- add drained cans of seasoned kale and/or greens black beans myacoba beans, other beans season cajun-like ground black pepper-make it up as you go along.Eat between your plasma days. Serve with crusty bread and butter. Cheap too. Red meat is best source of heme iron and good protein- you just need to have some to restore what was taken.I am also going to look into appropriate rest periods.

      My observations on peeps at Plasma:
      sometimes I think you can tell alot about someone by their plasma!(mine comes out like light lemonade at least halfway-I am very clean living)
      I am middle range and I have learned to pump fast! in and out of chair in 40 minutes or less.
      I see flyweights applying and I just think- esp. young menstruating females-teeny ones- I don't think they make it to the floor.(BUT THEIR GIRLFRIENDS DO!)
      Sometimes I wish you could get paid extra on the quality of your plasma-as I have not a single tattoo ,piercing, clean,not in a single risk group, married to other donor for 24 years rock solid,don't smoke don't drink..all this can be tested for... I know they over look the ganja, and they well should,laws vary from state to state, but there is no reason for illegal DRUGS like coke meth heroin crack to be present.That should be a no no no.That is a singe mark of someone who plays with fire. And the other reply I wanted to make was - eat the whole hard boiled egg!! my lord!. The protein is in the yolk, if you are young fuck the cholesterol,, geez,eat them raw occasionally(salmonella disclaimer!)

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    4. I'm old, 56, out of touch, but what does ganja mean?

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    5. Anonymous, it means Marijuana.

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  18. Plasma is used for many things, among them to make many drugs. Drug companies make BILLIONS, yet people think we should give our plasma away??? That is ridiculous. We are not talking about blood here, we're talking plasma. There is BIG MONEY to be made collecting plasma. Imagine what the plasma centers make, considering they pay you $20-$50 per donation and buy and maintain all that equipment and supplies and pay their staff, yet still turn a profit. It's a booming business and I think it's preposterous to think people are supposed to give it away out of the goodness of their hearts.

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    1. I agree with the statement above. If my plasma or blood is worth something to "BIG PHARMA", then of course it is worth something to me. It not only costs me in terms of transportation expenses to get to the plasma center, it also takes several hours out of the day to go there, extract the plasma and return home. The drug companies make huge profits on a resource that costs them very little. But, what about the blood banks who sell their blood products to the hospitals, for the cost of processing? Surly we should give our precious blood to them for free...right? I don't think so. The blood banks might not make a profit, but the people who operate the blood bank make a good living processing blood. I would also bet that the hospitals don't just charge the recipients of the blood, what it costs them in overhead. No, they charge enough to make a profit. I don't think that profit is a dirty word, so why shouldn't blood donors get something more for their time then a free lunch voucher or a crummy t-shirt. I know that volunteer blood is considered less likely to contain pathogens and drugs, but that is not guaranteed. It all gets tested anyway.

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  19. I think we have a wonderful blood system here in Australia.
    It is operated by a division of the Red Cross under an arrangement with the govt.
    Donations of whole blood or plasma are just that ... donations with no payment.
    In return, blood products for transfusions etc are prvided at no cost in hospitals etc.
    The end result is that Australia has one of the safest supply of blood products in the world.

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  20. Came looking for some answers and found this site. I donated in the 70's to help cover costs of college books and really had no problems. Now 30+ yrs later, started doing it again. I have very small veins and only a few can 'poke' me without turning severly black and blue (to the point of deferral). My health is extremely good but I feel very tired for 2 days after donating. Can't stay awake to save my soul. I eat healthy and drink only water (and my morning cup of tea). At the last visit, my iron level just squeeked by. Not sure how long I will be able to continue. Been donating for about 6 weeks now. Saw alot of good info on this site.

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  21. Donating is not for everyone...If you would like to help save someone's life and earn up to $65 a week or more which is a nice little piece of change to supplement income while helping others... The funny thing is that we never see who it helps...The center in Salem, Oregon Talecris is a "Class Act" they treat everyone with dignity and respect and always look to add to their generosity.. I am glad to help and to be able to earn a few dollars while doing it.. A true Blessing.

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  22. I have donated plasma twice a week most weeks for about 20 years with no noticeable side effects. I am happy to give my healthy plasma to those who need it and also don't feel guilty that I have made about $50,000 in cash tax free and grown it into twice that by investing in financial markets.

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    1. This is my plan precisely. Just have to balance out the cost of maintaining my protein and iron levels vs the income this will supply me with.

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  23. I feel so sick and exhausted after no matter what I eat or drink. I already feel sick it makes it worse. I think it may not be for me.

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  24. I donate plasma & i am proud to b a donar. for da past 2 months i go twice a week. at 1st was goin 4 da money but as i startd readn about how it help ppl and all other inquiries i except wht i do as a meaning of honor. glad dat i could b important to sum1 who could use da love.

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  25. it was all done for money from the beginning the junkie who sells his/her plasma for more stuff. the blood bank selling the plasma to hospitals to get rich. the hospitals using it in patients with insurance to get rich its just one giant cycle

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  26. Dose any one know if its ok to donate plasma after I smoke Meth?

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    1. that has got to be the most stupid question I have ever read in my life.

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  27. I had a horrible adverse reaction yesterday to donating plasma. I'm still recovering from it. I have been donating periodically for several years, so I should not be having any adverse reactions. It felt so horrible, that I do not think I will go anymore. It's not worth it to feel that bad even one time. I was light-headed, later room was spinning. I felt like I was going to pass out. I was sweating a lot, then had cold sweats. I felt nauseous and felt like I was going to throw up.

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  28. The only problem I every had was with my protein levels. They say ur protein intake has to be 125gm a day. Chkn breast, egg whites, kidney beans, peanuts, protein shakes, oats, pork steaks, red meats ect are high in protein. Chili is a very gd protein meal.

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  29. Sitting for that long is stressful to the spine. Many will benefit from bringing lumbar support cushions with them. I certainly do.

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  30. what I would like to know is how do they test for drugs? I know of people who donate regularly and I know they are on drugs. When I called a plasma center to ask them about this the guy told me they ask the participant questions and if they answer correctly then they are okay?????? huh???? wtf makes no sense. yes I know the plasma gets screened but I think if you are getting paid for it you should have to take a drug test like very one else who gets paid for their jobs.

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    1. They do random drug testing where I donate. You have to put this marshmellow looking thing on a stick in your mouth, keep biting it and swabbing your cheeks and gums. The first month they started they made anyone who came in get one BEFORE they got hooked up. Funny how once word got out and ppl were deferred the number of donors dropped, which makes for better plasma now.

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  31. I donated one unit of blood on 23rd March 2014. The area where the needle was injected is good,but 2 inches down it is preety bad. Numerous red spots with yellowish skin is all round. I have not gon to a doctor yet but it's looking very bad. I cannot upload the picture here to make the matter more clear. Should I be concerned?

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    1. Yes, you need to go to the doctor and get it checked out. You should go back to the place you donated and show them. It sounds like they stuck the needle thru the vein and blood went on the outside of your vein. Please have it checked

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  32. my son was a receipt of IVIG twice and it saved his life ...when he was 7 and 13. I want to thank all the donors and encourage you to keep going, if it helps you financially that is good too - but bottom line you are helping people and many many children.

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  33. your all idiots!

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    1. Maybe, but I do know how to use the word "you're" properly.

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    2. Bahahahaha....lol

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  34. I am glad I researched this before donating. I was uncomfortable when I read about the prossess from begining to end. I have given blood before, but this is different. When I read they mix the blood taken with an anticoagulant, then separate the plasma from the blood, and then return the blood with the anticoagulant intoyour body I was done. What is the anticoagulant? Is it natural or some drug that will eventually make you sick? No thanks. I want FULL DISCLOSURE as to what anticoagulant they are using and what the risks are for with that stuff. I don't understand why they don't take the whole blood and the separate the plasma without returning the blood to your body.

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    1. Apheresis systems use sodium citrate as the anticoagulant during component collection. Citrate is rapidly broken down by the liver, within minutes, with no long term anticoagulation in the donor.

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    2. If they took whole blood, you couldn't donate as frequently and they would lose their supply of plasma as a result.

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  35. This site has been very informative and helpful. Thank you. I got sick towards the end of the session on my first time. I go for my second time tomorrow. I'm donating because it does save lives and I do need the extra income. I figure if cancer patients can go through chemo and get really sick or children who are very sick can handle it, I can handle it to help them. I will be eating and hydrating well before.

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  36. I have donated about 5 times over the past few months. I do feel tired a few days afterwards. I really have to sleep a lot to recover. I also have a weird spotty discoloration on my neck. It may or may not have to do with donating my plasma. I figured that giving away my plasma has void my body from being able to fight off skin infections like the spots on my neck. I'm going to take a break. but i do need the money. I like helping people, I always meet the most interesting people there. I don't like that they are making 1,000 and only throwing us a small bone! I need to sell my plasma directly to the source! Because i have not been sick since i was a child! Watch out if you have depression or mental problems. NO joke i read that donating plasma lowers your serotonin and increase anxiety if you already have those issues. Let me know if anyone has experienced the spots on your neck????

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  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  38. Whats the efects of the blood anticoagulent being returned to your boudy over long term doing so?

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  39. I'm a 61-year old grandmother who has been donating twice a week for over a year. I've never had a physical problem with it. The money I receive for donating has allowed me and my two young granddaughters go on small vacations to see the country. Helping someone with the donation is an added benefit. I'd recommend it.

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  40. At the end of a donation, make sure they don't touch the piece of cotton that will come into contact with the puncture site on your arm. They should place it on your arm without putting their fingers all over it. The gloves they wear come into contact with all kinds of things that protect them, NOT you.

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  41. how can you trust even a liscensed, fda regulated facility of donation? you can not. i used to donate plasma and i am so glad i stopped

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  42. I donated Plasma for the first time last week, then did it again 3 days later. I broke out with very serious cold sores all over my mouth the day after the second donation. I have been craving meat and eating steak which I never eat, yet I am listening to my body and eating it. I eat very healthy before donation and drink plenty of water. I also drink Gatorade. ONE big issue I saw while donating was a lady started bleeding all over and the attendant that was attending me went to clean up all her blood then came back to me with her bloody dirty gloves. I had to tell her to change her gloves yet she had already picked up my papers etc contaminating things. I will not go again and plan to call to report her. I have been feeling very weak and sick since my last donation. I love to help others yet no at the expense of my life.

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