Everybody wants an easy way to make some extra money, but what if I told you there was a way to make upwards of $200 a month for simply sitting back and studying, doing homework, or watching Netflix on your phone?
Donating plasma is an easy, low-involvement process that can make you meaningful spare cash with almost no effort. If you are interested in donating a bit of your time to a good cause for money, it is time to see if donating plasma is right for you.
What Is Plasma?
Though many people have heard of plasma donations, most are unclear on what plasma actually is. While it may not be the most popular topic in every biology class, it is a vital part of your body.
Plasma makes up the majority of your blood. It is a clear, straw-colored liquid that remains when all the other components of blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other cellular components) are removed. It is comprised of 90 percent water, but also contains salts, enzymes, antibodies, and other proteins.
But forget the scientific mumbo jumbo for a moment. What does plasma do?
Plasma serves a few functions in your body, all of which are important. It helps to move cells and vital substances throughout the body, clots blood, and helps to fight off diseases. In other words, it is an important part of what actually makes your body function properly.
Why Donate Plasma?
Despite the fact that many people are eligible to donate plasma, very few actually do. Source plasma (another term for the plasma that is extracted during donations) is important for a number of reasons, which makes it all the more worthwhile to donate if you are eligible.
Source plasma is used to produce therapies that help people with various ailments. These can include rare and chronic diseases such as immunodeficiency, hemophilia, and genetic lung disease. It can also be used in the treatment of burns and shock. It may also be used for transfusions during surgeries and other medical treatments. When you donate plasma, you can rest assured that you are doing it for a good cause.
The reason that you are paid to donate plasma is because you are not doing it for a strictly charitable organization such as the Red Cross, but because you are actually selling your plasma to a business. They will sell your plasma to groups that would like it for research, enabling better medicines and treatments to be produced. While you may also donate to a charitable organization such as the Red Cross, there is no reason to feel that you are skimping on your ethical obligations when you sell your plasma. No matter what you do with it, it will be going to a good cause.
Obviously, nobody can complain about doing something that is good for others. Still, it sure doesn’t hurt that you will also get paid to do it.
Donating plasma is generally an easy and relatively quick process. It may take anywhere from one to three hours, making it simple to do after class or on a day off. While donating plasma, you are free to do as you please. This means you can read a book, browse the Internet on your phone, or do homework. If you were already planning to do one of these things in your free time, why not get paid as well?
So how much can you make for this simple and generous task?
It is common to make $20 to $30 when donating plasma, but it is not at all rare to make as much as $50. Each plasma donation center sets its own pay rates, meaning it is worth your while to do a bit of research on where your time will be best spent. While this may not be the pile of gold that you’ve been dreaming of, it turns into a meaningful pile of money quickly if you donate as often as allowed. You can donate up to twice in a week, which means you can start to bring in money to pay off various odds and ends if you are able to find the time.
The best part of donating plasma is that you can actually make more per visit by visiting more often. Many plasma donation centers will offer coupons and deals that incentivize you to go more often, meaning that you can make it even more profitable if you get serious about making donation a regular part of your routine.
Even if you are just looking for a bit of extra money to throw in your savings account, you will probably be happy with what you earn given the low-pressure nature of the arrangement. Many people may think it is hard to find a task that allows you to do whatever you want yet still pays reasonably, yet plasma donation is something that is available to just about anybody!
How to Donate Plasma
The first thing you will want to do is find the plasma center that is right for you. The simplest way to start tracking down possible locations is to use the database provided by Donatingplasma.org, which has over 600 locations. If you live in a metropolitan area, you will almost certainly have several options at your disposal.
Once you have figured out which plasma donation centers are in your area, you would be wise to spend some time browsing their websites. Many will offer you bonuses for first time visits and recurring visits, meaning you can get extra money up front and down the road. By taking the time to see what deals are being offered, you can ensure that you are getting the most money for your time and plasma.
Once you have decided on the place you would like to donate, you will need to make sure that you meet their requirements.
No matter where you go, you will have to be at least 18 years of age, though some sites will have a slightly higher minimum age. Many centers will also have a maximum age of about 65 years old. As long as you fit into the required range of your selected center, you are good to go! If you just barely miss the cutoff, you can always check to see if other local centers will be a fit for you.
If you are of the required donating age, you will have a few more requirements to meet. Most importantly, you will need to weigh at least 110 pounds. Your weight becomes and important part of the equation even if you are comfortably over the required weight minimum, as you are actually paid based on the volume of plasma that you are able to donate. This means the more you weigh, the more you are able to potentially earn.
The FDA sets weight guidelines in various ranges. Donors in the 110-149 range can expect to make the least money for their donations, while those weighing between 150 and 174 pounds can expect to make a bit more. If you weigh between 175 and 400 pounds, you are in the top bracket and can expect to be paid the most for your donation.
If you are on the low end of the spectrum, don’t be dissuaded from donating. You can still make good money for doing very little work, so there is no reason to back out. If you are on the fence about whether or not it will be worth your time, check in to estimate how much money you will be able to make. You may be surprised to find out how much you can really make even when you are on the lower end of the earning scale for plasma donation.
Lastly in terms of physical requirements, you will need to be in good health in order to donate. You will need to fill out a new donor history questionnaire to ensure that you are a match for their requirements. You will also receive a health screening and initial blood screening.
You will be required to pass medical screenings and testing for blood-transmitted viruses to make sure that your blood is okay to donate. Before your blood can be put to use, you must return to the plasma center and donate again so the center can make sure that your blood is safe for medical use. This means you may not have viruses such as HIV or hepatitis if you would like to donate plasma. If you meet the requirements up to this point, you are well on your way to successfully begin donating.
With these straightforward physical requirements out of the way, you will be required to present documentation to prove your identity. You will need to be able to show an ID with your current address listed, proof of address (such as a piece of mail with your name on it), and a document that provides your Social Security number or INS number.
While these measures are taken initially to make sure that you are a match that is able to donate plasma, you will also need to undergo screenings for each visit to make sure that it is safe for you to donate. There are a few problems that some people run into when trying to donate, but almost all of them are avoidable. As long as you know what to look out for, you should be well on your way to making money for your plasma.
If you are low on iron, you will not be able to donate. This is a common problem among Americans that very few people monitor, meaning it could very easily sneak up on you when you first go to donate plasma. You can help prevent this problem by eating foods that are rich in iron. Good examples of foods that can help you with this problem are beans, fish, poultry, raisins, and red meat.
You will also improve your odds of meeting the iron requirements by getting a full night of sleep the night before donating. Drinking plenty of water will also go a long way, so it is recommended that you stay both hydrated in general and drink an extra glass or two of water before arriving at the plasma center to make your donation. Eating a healthy meal with the aforementioned foods before donating will also give a last-minute boost to your odds of successfully donating.
You can also take iron supplements if you are having trouble meeting the iron requirements. While failing the requirements will not result in a large loss of time, it is an inconvenience that can generally be avoided with preparation.
If you are feeling sick during the time you are planning on donating, you will probably be better off not going. This significantly increases your chances of failing the physical, so you will be better off getting rest and returning to health so that you can donate at a later date.
You will also need to have a healthy body temperature in order to donate. This is often going to hold you back if you are feeling sick, but it is worth monitoring your temperature before donating. Eating cold foods and drinking extra cold beverages can temporarily lower your body temperature, which may result in a short wait time in order for you to be eligible to donate. This is another inconvenience that, while not especially severe, can be avoided easily.
Once the screening is complete, you will be ready to donate. The process is similar to donating blood. A needle is stuck in your arm, so if you get needle anxiety you may want to make sure that this is a process you are up for, as plasma donations last longer than blood donations.
The plasma is collected in a process called plasmapheresis, which involves whole blood being drawn from you through the needle. The plasma is separated from the other components in the needle, and the rest is returned to your body with a sterile saline solution. This helps to replace the plasma that has just been extracted.
While some people may get anxious from the needle, the process of removing plasma is entirely safe. The health requirements are in place to make sure that your blood is fit for medical use, not to screen for any risks. You are entirely safe throughout the process. All you need to do is sit back and wait to make your money.
If donating plasma sounds like a way that you would like to make money, consider looking into nearby plasma centers and getting started. You could hardly find an easier way to make some extra cash.