How To Ethically Make Money Donating Plasma

donating plasma

How To Ethically Make Money Donating Plasma

Thomas Minter

Thomas Minter

In just under three years, Thomas eliminated $80,000 student loan debt by house hacking and saving 50% of his income. He works for a large engineering firm, lives in the Bay Area and is addicted to Personal Capital
Thomas Minter

If you’re interested in making money by donating plasma, it’s important to know what you’re getting
yourself into.

Yes, you can get paid and possibly help sick people, but you should first consider the
ethical concerns and the effort it takes to donate your blood plasma.

If you are looking for other ways to make more money, check out our other articles.

 

What Is Plasma?

 

Donating blood plasma is not the same as donating blood to the Red Cross. Blood
plasma is actually the part of the blood that’s a clear liquid. It’s made up of water,
enzymes, proteins, and antibodies.

 

Are You Eligible To Donate Plasma?

 

You can donate plasma as long as you meet certain requirements. Here are the basic
prerequisites:

 

● Must be between 18-69 years old
● Must weigh more than 110 pounds
● Need to pass a basic physical and be absent of infectious diseases
● Must have proper levels of hemoglobin, iron, and blood
● Have a legal government ID or Social Security Card (to prove you’re a citizen)

 

These rules can change depending on the state you’re in, and local laws can even
override the center requirements. For example, the age minimum is 19 in Nebraska.

Some states have rules that prohibit those with tattoos or piercings from donating and
put a minimum on the number of donations you can make in a certain timeframe.

If you don’t qualify for plasma donation, the center may give you one of two types of
deferrals: temporary or permanent.

Temporary deferrals can happen if you’re sick, recovering from a recent procedure, or if
your hemoglobin, iron, or blood levels are too low. The center will advise you on what to
do next and when you can come back to donate.

If they give you a permanent deferral, it can be because of your age, weight, or if you
have certain medical conditions that can negatively affect you or anyone who would
receive your blood plasma.

However, you can try to overturn a center’s permanent deferral if you think it was given
to you in error. To overturn it, you’d need to get a second medical opinion

 

How To Donate Plasma

 

First, you’ll need to prepare to visit a donation center (we’ll talk about how to find a
center in a bit).

The most important thing is to drink a lot of fluids and eat healthily and regularly. This
should include heart-healthy meals, like fruits, vegetables, and fish. But you also want to
avoid super fatty foods that are high in cholesterol.

And because it’s important to stay hydrated, you should drink lots of water the day
before and the day of your donation. Also, alcohol and caffeinated drinks are diuretics
(meaning they dehydrate you), so it’s best to avoid those as well.

As far as documentation, you’ll need your Social Security card (or proof of it), proof of
address, a photo ID — your name and address must match on all the documents. And
what’s nice is that some centers don’t require you schedule an appointment, but you’ll
want to check with your local center before you leave the house.

 

First Time Donating Plasma?

 

If it’s your first time donating, plan for this shindig to take an hour an a half to two hours.
After you get to the plasma center, you will need to complete a health history on one of
their computers and go through a very basic physical.

This basic checkup can include a urine test, a heart check, and testing of your reflexes.
Just a heads-up, they will prick your finger to test the hemoglobin, blood, and iron
levels.

Once they’re ready for you to start donating, you’ll sit in a semi-reclined chair and they’ll
get started. It may look similar to donating blood, but because it’s more involved than
donating blood, the actual donating part of the process can take up to an hour.

 

Plasma Process

 

The way they get just the blood plasma (the clear liquid part of your blood) is by first
drawing your blood. Then they separate the plasma (using something called a
plasmapheresis machine) from the blood and return the blood to your body.

If you choose to donate plasma again, the process won’t take nearly as long. Future
donations should take only about an hour, mainly because you still have to complete a
medical questionnaire to make sure nothing has changed.

Something you should know if you plan to donate regularly is that there are limits to the
number of times you can donate. The general rule is no more than twice a week with
the donations happening at least 24 to 48 hours apart. This gives your body time to
replace the lost plasma (drinking lots of water helps this process).

 

Is Donating Plasma Painful?

 

This is a common concern. But when it comes to the discomfort involved with donating
plasma, just think of it like donating blood. It’s no more and no less painful than that.

On top of pricking your finger, they will use a needle and IV to draw your blood and

return the plasma-less blood to your body. When they return the blood, it’s mixed with
saline, which can tend to be very cold and cause some discomfort. So you may want to
bring a blanket or jacket.

Obviously, if you feel enough discomfort during the donation process that it’s
concerning, tell one of the phlebotomists right away.

 

Benefits Of Donating Plasma

 

On top of getting paid (which we’ll talk about below), there are other benefits to donating
plasma. Here are just a few:

 

● Your plasma can help save lives
● You may not need to schedule an appointment
● Donating on a regular basis can encourage you to eat healthier and stay more
hydrated

 

Ethical Concerns With Donating Plasma

 

So where does your blood plasma go? Who gets it and what is it used for?

Typically, your plasma goes to companies who create products that can help people
who have blood clotting disorders or other blood diseases. So you can be a part of
saving lives, or at least helping people live better lives.

But are you told the name of the business who’s receiving your plasma? Not
necessarily. Will they tell you what product they’ll be making with your plasma? Nope.
Will companies be making a profit off of your blood plasma? Most definitely.

Are you okay with these realities? Many people are, and that’s totally fine.

And because you’re donating your plasma to businesses that will be flipping it for a
profit, it’s only right that you get paid for your time and energy.

 

How Much Can You Get Paid To Donate Plasma?

 

How much money you can make donating plasma depends on a number of things:

 

● If it’s your first time donating, you’ll typically make more
● How often you donate
● The quantity of plasma donated
● How much you weigh
● The donation center you choose

 

But generally, you can expect to get between $20-50 per donation, with your first
donation paying more because the process takes longer.

And yes, you can get paid more if you weigh more because the FDA requires you give a
certain amount of plasma that corresponds with your weight. The ranges are split up as
such: 110-149 pounds, 150-174 pounds, and 175-400 pounds.

Also, if you have a type of protein in your plasma that’s high demand, they may offer to
pay you more money. And some centers will pay you more per donation if you’re a
“frequent flyer” at their establishment.

Typically, donation centers pay you in the form of prepaid debit cards, but they may also
give you rewards points that you can redeem for cash or certain merchandise.

So if the first donation takes about two hours and you get paid $50, that’s $25 per hour.
And with subsequent visits, that’s about how much you’ll make for about an hour of your
time.

Not bad, right?

 

How To Find The Highest-Paying Plasma Donation Centers

 

Fortunately, the FDA inspects and regulates plasma donation centers for legal
compliance. However, they do not directly manage them. So it’s important to make sure
your local donation center is FDA-approved.

Here are some of the donation centers you can trust along with the states where they’re
located and how much you can expect to get paid.

 

B Positive

 

Locations: Maryland and New Jersey

Payment method: Visa prepaid debit card

Payment amount: $50 for your first five donations within the first 30 days (payment for
regular donations can progressively increase between $15-45 each)

 

Biolife

 

Locations: AZ, AR, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, OH, OK,
PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY

Payment method: Biolife prepaid debit card

Payment amount: up to $50 for each donation (bonus for second weekly test).

 

Biotest Plasma Center

 

Locations: AR, FL, GA, IA, NC, NE, NM, OH, PA, SC, SD, TX

Payment method: Mastercard prepaid debit card

Payment amount: up to $50 for your first five donations, $35-45 for subsequent
donations (offer refer-a-friend program and sweepstakes to earn more money)

 

BPL Plasma

 

Locations: AR, AZ, CO, FL, IL, KY, ME, MN, MO, NC, NM, OH, OK, TX

Payment method: contact your local center

Payment amount: up to $50 for your first five donations (offer seasonal promotions)

Notes: must be between 18-65 years old (not 69) and have not gotten piercings or
tattoos within the past 12 months.

 

CSL Plasma

 

Locations: AL, AZ, CO, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO,
NE, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA, WV, WI

Payment method: iGive points that you can redeem for cash on a prepaid debit card or
merchandise

Payment amount: up to $50 per donation (offer monthly promotions)

 

GCAM Plasma

 

Locations: CA, ID, TX, WA

Payment method: contact your local center

Payment amount: up to $30 per donation

 

Grifols (owns Biomat USA, Plasmacare, Inc., Talecris)

 

Locations: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MS,
NC, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI

Payment method: prepaid debit card

Payment amount: up to $25 per donation (offer refer-a-friend program)

 

Interstate Companies

 

Locations: FL, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, MS, PA, TN, TX, WI

Payment method: contact your local center

Payment amount: up to $50 for your first five donations

 

KEDPlasma

 

Locations: AL, FL, GA, LA, NC, NY, SC
Payment method: contact your local center
Payment amount: up to $50 for your first five donations

 

Octapharma

 

Locations: AL, AR, CA, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NV,
OH, OK, SC, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI

Payment method: rewards points that you can redeem for a Mastercard prepaid debit
card, gift cards, sweepstakes, and other discounts

Payment amount: up to $50 for your first five donations (offers refer-a-friend program)

 

You Can Donate Plasma For Free If You’d Prefer

 

If this whole idea of donating plasma feels icky to you, you can donate it for free. If
you’re comfortable with not knowing which company will be using your plasma or what
exactly they’ll be using it for, you can go to your local Red Cross center and donate
(actually donate) blood plasma.

Red Cross will let you donate once every 28 days — your reward is knowing you’re
helping people and potentially saving lives. And maybe that’s worth more than any
prepaid debit card a plasma center would give you.

 

See Also:

Here Are The Easiest Ways To Get Free Money Now

3 Best Survey Sites To Make Money

Legit Ebates Review to Help Save Money

21 Awesome Money Management Tips to Help Win Personal Finances

 

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Thomas Minter
Thomas Minter
thomas@millennialmoney.com

In just under three years, Thomas eliminated $80,000 student loan debt by house hacking and saving 50% of his income. He works for a large engineering firm, lives in the Bay Area and is addicted to Personal Capital

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