Saturday, August 3, 2013

Can You Donate Plasma With a Cold?

Q: Can I donate Plasma With Cold Symptoms?

I'm sick with a cold/flu, and have no money for medications - nyquil, ambien, tylenol, you name it. I considered donating plasma to buy the OTC cold medicines I need, and make up for lost days at work (from being sick.) Will the plasma center let me donate plasma with cold symptoms? What are their rules on sick individuals donating?

Answer: No, sorry, you can't donate plasma with a cold, flu, or virus infecting your system. The reason isn't to protect plasma recipients - it's to protect you, the donor's, health.

The rules for donating plasma say you can't have a fever above 99 degrees, cough, sniffles, or a runny nose on the day of donation. In other words, you should be completely free of cold or flu symptoms and feeling healthy before you donate.  This is because your body makes white cell germ antibodies using plasma, and if you donate plasma, your body lacks the substance needed to create antibodies.

Can I Transmit My Cold Germs to Plasma Recipients?

No, you can't transmit germs or virus by being sick while donating. Cold germs reside in your air and nasal tissue lining, and don't affect the blood plasma. Nobody gets hurt if you donate while sick except you. This is why there's a screening and rejection process, to make sure your temperature is in the normal range and you feel good before donating plasma.

What are the Effects of Donating With a Cold - What Will Happen?

Donating with a cold lowers your immune system, and leads to lingering illness, chronic cough, slower healing times, severe fatigue, and even pneumonia. When you have a cold or flu, it's better to stay in bed, drink hot soup and orange juice, and let your body heal completely. Donating while you have a cold will mess up your body's system, and lead to chronic/serious complications.

Find some other way to make money while you're sick. You could start a blog about plasma donation, and make money off the advertising space. You could also sell artwork on Etsy, become an ebay powerseller, or exchange your writing for profit on gig sites like Fiverr.

In the long term, donating plasma while sick, or even while you're healthy, is a bad idea. You never receive something for nothing - and what you're selling is your body's health. Your body needs blood plasma to transport red blood cells, and heal cuts, wounds and infections like the common cold. In the end, it's better not to donate plasma, but if you need the money, wait until your cold/flu is finished to donate plasma again.

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