Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Speed Up Plasma Donation


Speed up plasma donation, a process that normally takes 45-90 minutes. You can make plasma donation go faster by following these simple steps: drink up to 16 oz of water, pump your hand, and take a spoonful of (what's that now?) vegetable oil!

Drink More Water for Faster Donation: Water makes up 90% of blood plasma. The other 10% of plasma is proteins and hemoglobin. Water, when taken in excess, makes plasma donation faster by thinning the blood (specifically the plasma.) Think of red blood cells as balloons slip-sliding all over each other, with plasma being the lubricant that moves and supports them. When you drink more water, the balloons have less friction, and therefore flow faster.

How much Water for Plasma Donation?

Never drink more than 8 glasses of water a day, or more than 64 oz (which is what the FDA recommends.) Why does the FDA recommend 64 oz of water? Because excessive water intake can actually dilute vital nutrients in the blood, like iron and protein. Plasma donation centers check both protein and iron nutrients, and will quickly reject plasma donors for low blood levels.

Don't dilute your iron or protein, and risk a rejection. 64 oz (or 4 Nestle Pur Life water bottles) a day is all most healthy adults need for kidney function, and slippery plasma. Drink 4 water bottles the day before, and one water bottle before plasma donation, along with an iron pill. This will make plasma donation go faster - you'll take a rapid 45 minutes in the donation chair instead of the full 90 minutes.

2.) Pump Your Hand for Faster Plasma Times

This plasma donation step is something even veteran donors forget. When the phlebotomist asks if you want a squeezy toy during donation, they're not just being polite. Squeezing a stress ball/squeezy toy, or pumping your hand during donation, makes the blood in your arm veins flow faster.

If you don't pump your hand at all, the blood in your arm veins or donation tube will congeal, blocking the plasma flow. You'll then get a nice red light and a beeping plasmapheresis machine, which will make the phlebotomists come running. When a blockage happens, the assistants must quickly get the blood flowing again. If they can't, the donor risks blood getting stuck in the plasmapheresis machine, with a 6 month donation deferral to boot.

So, squeeze your fist (or ask for a stress ball to squeeze) and watch your plasma donation times speed up rapidly.

Take a Spoonful of Vegetable/Olive Oil for Plasma Donation



Taking a spoonful vegetable or olive oil for plasma donation sounds strange, but it's done wonders to make my own plasma donation times more rapid. It used to take me an hour to donate plasma, but now it takes me a quick 45 minutes or under to donate.

Why? Imagine the balloon example again, with the red blood cells being balloons. If water is a good plasma lubricant for blood cells, then cooking oils like vegetable or olive oils are even better.

Don't take this as excuse to guzzle the vegetable oil, though. A large spoonful is usually enough to cleanse the veins, and make plasma donation go faster. Extra virgin olive oil is even better, since a spoonful of (uncooked) vegetable oil a day has added unsaturated fat benefits of heart health.

Extra note on fats: Saturated fats, like the ones in your cheeseburger, actually clog the blood vessels, making plasma donation slower. A common plasma deferral/rejection reason is slow plasma flow, due to eating too much saturated fat. While olive oil (and avocado, and peanuts - all unsaturated fats) make plasma flow faster, saturated fats make plasma thicker, and slower flowing. So, skip the ice cream, cheese burgers, and french fries the day before donation, and take unsaturated fats to donate faster.

Finally, don't donate plasma with high blood pressure. If your pulse is higher than normal, the plasma donation will make you sit in the waiting lobby for an extra 5-10 minutes, adding to your donation time. If, after your wait in the lobby, your pulse stays high, you will be rejected for high blood pressure.

These are tips to donate plasma faster. So relax, drink your water, pump your squeezy, and drink a tablespoon of vein-cleansing vegetable oil to speed up plasma donation times.

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15 comments:

  1. You aren't clear. Is vegetable oil or olive oil best?

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    1. Extra virgin olive oil is best.

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    2. The article states "Extra virgin olive oil is even better". Very hard to miss if you were paying attention.

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  2. I have high iron all the time. i herd high iron will slow the process, is that true?

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  3. How long before donating should you take the olive oil?

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    1. Hoping that you take the olive oil orally, it takes the body about 15 to 20 minutes (times may vary) to "digest" liquids, so by the time the oil gets to the upper intestine to be picked up by the blood, 30 to 45 minutes may have elapsed (again, times may vary). It is also important not to picture that the inside of your body is going to become a slip and slide, as the oil will take a bit of time to go from your mouth, stomach, intestine, blood and then travel to the site of injection. Given this scenario, taking the oil anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes prior your donation should make a difference in the time it takes to complete the donation. Also remember that oil is somewhat hydrophobic at room temperature, but once its inside your body it gets "warmer" because of your own body heat, and I am not 100% if its hydrophobic properties change.

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  4. How long before donating should you take the olive oil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoping that you take the olive oil orally, it takes the body about 15 to 20 minutes (times may vary) to "digest" liquids, so by the time the oil gets to the upper intestine to be picked up by the blood, 30 to 45 minutes may have elapsed (again, times may vary). It is also important not to picture that the inside of your body is going to become a slip and slide, as the oil will take a bit of time to go from your mouth, stomach, intestine, blood and then travel to the site of injection. Given this scenario, taking the oil anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes prior your donation should make a difference in the time it takes to complete the donation. Also remember that oil is somewhat hydrophobic at room temperature, but once its inside your body it gets "warmer" because of your own body heat, and I am not 100% if its hydrophobic properties change.

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  5. If your iron is too high, you won't be able to donate at all.

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  6. do you take the vegatable oil that night or that mornin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoping that you take the olive oil orally, it takes the body about 15 to 20 minutes (times may vary) to "digest" liquids, so by the time the oil gets to the upper intestine to be picked up by the blood, 30 to 45 minutes may have elapsed (again, times may vary). It is also important not to picture that the inside of your body is going to become a slip and slide, as the oil will take a bit of time to go from your mouth, stomach, intestine, blood and then travel to the site of injection. Given this scenario, taking the oil anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes prior your donation should make a difference in the time it takes to complete the donation. Also remember that oil is somewhat hydrophobic at room temperature, but once its inside your body it gets "warmer" because of your own body heat, and I am not 100% if its hydrophobic properties change.

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  7. Can u take extra virgin coconut oil instead of olive oil.

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  8. Coconut oil has a lot of unsaturated fats. Olive oil is way better. All in all remember to pump your hand when the machine is in donation mode and not return mode. Pumping your hand in return mode runs you a risk of blowing out your vein and pushing the needle out your arm. Happy donating everyone.

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  9. I love it when people ask medical questions of people who are on the internet. I also love it when people answer as thou they are medical personal. Love the internet. It rocks

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    1. At first your comment about the medical questions of people on the internet were a little funny but seems a little harsh. It really can help asking others because not all medical personnel (by the way it's not personal) have the best advice. People are human not science projects where you can control the variable. Everyone is different and it is good to hear from other strange comments that may or may not be helpful. And who knows, you may be getting advice from a Dr. without a bill! So thank you to all those that post about their own personal triumphs. :) I have always been one of the fastest donors pumping 825 out in approx. 27-30 mins including the saline, but for the first time my iron was high at 54 and it took much longer (42 mins) I drink coffee on an every day basis and am dieting so i do not incorporate too many fats in my diet. It appears to me, (although i am NOT a Dr.) that the lower your iron the faster you will donate with the exception of it being too low and getting rejected. I drink a minimal amount of water because I already have big veins and water does not seem to play a role in my personal donating experience. Thin blood seems to be the key to a speedy donation. Maybe aspirin could aid you or even ginseng. But it took longer when my iron was surprisingly higher. Each person is different though, so feel free to try the tsp. of fat trick, but clogging the needle should be a concern if you do and doesn't seem too logical. Plus, who wants to add on any extra fat. (not knocking the idea, just doesn't sound as easy as drinking coffee). And for some reason, coffee drinking works for me to be the fastest donor but if you don't consume enough water then it just defeats the purpose. And for the record, I squeeze a small size 'pill' squeezy once every 5 seconds and still donate faster than those that pump as if they had been practicing all their life ;) Good luck, but lower iron helps as long as you can keep it above the minimum.

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