If you have ever been in desperate need of quick cash, someone may have suggested that you sell your blood for money. However, there is a slight misconception that you can easily get paid for donating blood at your local American Red Cross. Since most hospitals do not accept blood from paid donors, this advice needs further explanation.
Donating red blood cells is an act of charity. There is no compensation when you sign up for blood drives or visit a charitable organization to make a contribution. On the other hand, donating blood plasma is an act of commerce. Since it is a more involved procedure, many private centers will pay you for blood plasma. This is the clear component of your blood that is rich in enzymes, proteins, and antibodies. It is useful for products and treatments for transplant patients, burn victims, and people with blood and clotting disorders. These private centers compensate you well because they in turn sell the plasma to companies for a profit.
Before you decide to sell your blood plasma for money, here are a few things you should consider.
Who is Eligible to Donate?
The eligibility requirements to donate plasma are very similar to those that regulate blood donations. If you are an adult between the ages of 18 and 69, weigh more than 110 pounds, and are in good health, then it is unlikely you will be turned away.
However, there are other extenuating circumstances that could prevent you from selling your blood plasma for money. For example, tattoos, piercings, or international travel in the last 12 months could make you ineligible to donate. You must complete a short questionnaire to ensure you are a good candidate before they take your plasma. Furthermore, since you are working with a business and not a government agency, they can set their own requirements. Before you make the trip, call around to private centers or go online if you have any questions about your eligibility.
How Does Selling Plasma Work?
The first time you visit, it takes longer due to the necessary screening and paperwork. Your first time could take up to 2.5 hours, although following visits are roughly half the length of time. After you check in and answer all their questions, you will undergo a physical health check. Once they determine that you meet all the physical requirements, someone will lead you to a bed.
From there, your blood is drawn, the plasma is separated, and then the rest is pumped back into your body. The amount of plasma taken, length of time, and compensation all depend upon your weight. Larger people can give more plasma, and therefore earn more cash. The entire process, known as plasmapheresis, takes roughly an hour to complete. After the staff replenishea your fluid levels and you take a short rest, they will bandage you up and send you on your way.
Getting Paid to Sell Your Blood Plasma
The amount you can make varies from person to person. However, the typical range is $20 to $50 per donation. The compensation is based on the volume of plasma you donate. The larger you are, the more you can give. The donation guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration are determined by weight. The three groups are divided into 110 to 149 pounds, 150 to 174 pounds, and 175 to 400 pounds. The more you weigh, the more money you will make.
The next question that usually follows is, “How often can I donate?” The answer again varies since private centers operate under their own rules. The general standard allows you to donate blood twice within seven days. However, you must have at least a day between your visits. Your health should always be a top priority. So, make sure you check with the staff to be certain it is safe to make multiple donations.
Another thing to remember is that plasma donation is a competitive business. They often distribute coupons and promotional offers for first-time donors. While it may seem strange at first, these coupons could help you earn even more cash. You can redeem these after your first donation or after completing several donations.
While some private centers pay cash, debit cards are more common. They issue the debit card on your first visit. Then, all future payments will be deposited to the same card. Make sure you find out if they paid for your stuff.
What are the Risks to Sell Your Blood?
Donating plasma is a safe and well-regulated process. However, there are slight risks you should be aware of before donating. The most common side effects include tenderness or bruising near the needle injection site. There might be some pain, swelling, and discoloration. While this is uncomfortable, it is not typically life-threatening.
Another common side effect is dizziness or feeling faint after you donate. This is a result of the blood loss. Your body loses a lot of fluids when you sell your blood. That is why you should drink plenty of water before your appointment. It is also wise to avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and fatty foods before you donate.
Citrate reactions are less common, but something you should be aware of. The process requires citrate as a coagulant so there is no clotting during plasmapheresis. Some people have reported tingling in their fingers or similar sensations near their nose or mouth.
Severe reactions are very rare, but can occur. Removing plasma can cause shivering, elevated or slowing of your pulse, twitching, and shortness of breath. If you have any concerns about selling your blood plasma, you should contact your physician.
Where Can You Sell Your Blood Plasma?
There are many private centers and plasma donation sites where you can sell your blood plasma. You can begin here by searching for convenient locations near you. If you still cannot find a center, ask your doctor or hospital for a reference. Once you locate a donation center in your area, you are one step closing to having that cash in hand.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.