donate-bloodMany people donate blood voluntarily because they see it as their civic duty. However, donating plasma entails a longer more tedious withdrawal, so banks offer monetary compensation for each donation. Plasma is essentially the liquid part of the blood which is yellow in color. It is made up of mostly water and proteins. The process of extracting plasma is called plasmapheresis. During this process a machine spins the plasma to separate the liquid from the blood cells. Plasma is used for patients who have blood clotting problems, assist burn victims, and helps create treatments for diseases which attack the immune system. Donating plasma helps others who desperately need it and helps donors in the process.

Qualifications

When donating plasma it is important to be completely honest with the bank. They need to know if the donor has recently had surgery, taking specific medications which may interact with the donation process, has a transferable disease, iron is low, or sick with the flu, cold, or sore throat.

A donor must be completely healthy and drug free. A donor should know their personal medical history.

Complete honesty protects future receivers of the plasma.

Procedure

Donors will need to arrive early at the bank to fill out numerous papers and forms. These forms ask personal questions like the donor’s family medical history and sexual practices. Some banks ask the donor to watch a video about the risk factors. Then the donor will need to consent to a physical examination. After the screening, the donor’s weight is measured and then a sample of blood is tested to ensure the quality of the blood. The donor will then be led into the plasmapheresis room where a staff member will prep the donation arm and begin to draw the blood.

After the blood is collected, the machine then separates blood cells from the plasma and the blood cells are then pumped back into the donor’s body. It may take several times of withdrawing blood and separating it before the desired amount of plasma is collected. The donor will lie still for a little over an hour. The donor will be unhooked from the machine and then given compensation. The staff member will then let the donor know of when they can return to do it again.

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