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Thread: Donating plasma

  1. #1

    Default Donating plasma

    So here soon I'm going to start donating plasma so I can make a few extra bucks. But what I want to know is what's like when you donate? I heard you should drink a lot of water beforehand so you don't pass out.

  2. #2
    acorn

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    There are regional differences (some very contentious) of practices and what is acceptable in blood donating, you might be interested to note that America sets the lowest standard for blood donations, but they are an argument for another day..

    The local blood transfusion center will have their requirements you must meet before being allowed to donate blood, by all means look this up before attending the clinic. It is usually preferred that you should not be in a fasting state on arrival at the clinic, ie, under no accounts skip breakfast. Normal hydration only - is advisable, you do not want to go through the donation process with an urgent need to urinate. To avoid the real risk of passing out afterwards, you should follow the laid down guidelines for the procedure; You should rest in a sitting position (usually) for a period of time (15-20 minutes) directly after making the donation. Lastly you may be cautioned of the risk from strenuous sport / activity and or taking hot showers thereafter.

  3. #3

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    Are you donating blood or white blood cells. Plasma is often referred to when talking about white blood cell donation. That process takes hours and they usually have a television set to while away your time. I donated blood for several years and gave over two gallons. I would drink a glass of water before I went. Afterward, you usually sit for a while and have something to drink. They also had cookies to replenish glucose I suppose.

  4. #4

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    I did that some in college. Definitely drink water; they'll take a sample before hooking you up to the machine, and if it's not clear enough they won't accept you. The process takes about 45 min to an hour and they'll usually let you bring a book. Typically you can go 2-3 times a week.

  5. #5

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    My plasma center here in my college town takes your weight, blood pressure, passes a small sample through a centrifuge, checks your arms for needle marks (to prevent druggies), and so on. And that's AFTER your first visit. Your first visit you do a whole lengthy physical and answer a series of medical questions. But apart from all that is not too bad. I with about 240, and the process lasts about an hour from the time they poke you to when they let you go. Drink plenty of water, and have a good meal before you go.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    Are you donating blood or white blood cells. Plasma is often referred to when talking about white blood cell donation. That process takes hours and they usually have a television set to while away your time. I donated blood for several years and gave over two gallons. I would drink a glass of water before I went. Afterward, you usually sit for a while and have something to drink. They also had cookies to replenish glucose I suppose.
    Yes I believe it is a white blood cell donation.

  7. #7

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    I used to donate plasma myself once. Drink plenty of water and try not to eat anything with a lot of fat for 2 days before donating. And under no circumstances never ever drink alcohol the day before and after you donate. I have watched people almost die because they did not follow the alcohol rule with my own eyes (watched someone get resuscitated once. His heart actually stopped). Don't get me wrong donating plasma is a much needed thing and the risk to yourself is rather minimal if you follow those simple steps so you should be just fine. Otherwise go ahead and donate. Also take note you might not want to wear a diaper during the physical because the doctor will want to know about the "medical" reason for you wearing a diaper when he/she finds out about it. You could just bring a diaper in a bag load up on water and then tell them that you need to go to the bathroom to get the diaper on after the physical or just not wear a diaper at all until you leave the building though. Also the more water you drink the faster the donation will go. I once dropped 900 ML of plasma in 25 minutes but I had to go to the bathroom immediately before and after donating because of that. Please be advised for safety reasons you really do not want to be disconnected from the machine early so make sure you always use the bathroom 5-10 minutes before you get stuck with the needle. Otherwise enjoy the experience and thanks for saving someone's life!

    Please keep in mind I am 6'6" tall so chances are are good your not going to need to donate 900 ML of plasma like I would have to because I just happen to naturally weigh 250 pounds and that is the largest amount they are allowed to take from anyone because of my size. And I once donated plasma regularly. Now that I am pre-diabetic and have other health issues I don't think I will ever be allowed to donate ever again because it's quite dangerous for me to do so I suspect.

  8. #8

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    When you donate plasma you are not donating white blood cells ... the two are not the same. Plasma is all the fluid that your cells of the blood sit in. When they centrifuge your blood all the cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and prematue cells) are all separated and the fluid that remains is the plasma. So because of this it takes a while for the plasma to be separated ... As the machine needs to spin all your blood to separate the plasma and return the cells back to you.

    Because you are removing the fluid portion of your blood some people report a sensation that you feel dehydrated afterwards. Donating plasma is a lot less taxing on your body (believe it or not but it takes a lot of energy to produce red blood cells so if they take them then your body has to replace a ton of them sooner then it normally would have had to).

    That being said i would agree to drink plenty of water. It will make donating blood a lot easier and you will be less likely to feel dizzy afterwards if you have hydrated yourself beforehand. Most people tend to only feel dizzy after they donate red blood cells but it can happen if you donate plasma as well so don't think you will avoid it by giving plasma instead of whole blood.

    As far as the story above .. you may have seen someone need to be resuscitated but i highly doubt that is because of alcohol. I would think that there is more to the story then just that (likely that the person had other medical problems as well). More likely it was because the alcohol caused that person to be severely dehydrated (which is not a great way to be before donating blood in the first place). That being said i would not recommend drinking alcohol beforehand anyways because it will mean that the alcohol will remain in your plasma when you donate it and this will most likely affect someone who receives the donation. And if that person needs it for a critical reason giving them plasma that has some alcohol in it would not be a great thing.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek61 View Post
    When you donate plasma you are not donating white blood cells ... the two are not the same. Plasma is all the fluid that your cells of the blood sit in. When they centrifuge your blood all the cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and prematue cells) are all separated and the fluid that remains is the plasma. So because of this it takes a while for the plasma to be separated ... As the machine needs to spin all your blood to separate the plasma and return the cells back to you.

    Because you are removing the fluid portion of your blood some people report a sensation that you feel dehydrated afterwards. Donating plasma is a lot less taxing on your body (believe it or not but it takes a lot of energy to produce red blood cells so if they take them then your body has to replace a ton of them sooner then it normally would have had to).

    That being said i would agree to drink plenty of water. It will make donating blood a lot easier and you will be less likely to feel dizzy afterwards if you have hydrated yourself beforehand. Most people tend to only feel dizzy after they donate red blood cells but it can happen if you donate plasma as well so don't think you will avoid it by giving plasma instead of whole blood.

    As far as the story above .. you may have seen someone need to be resuscitated but i highly doubt that is because of alcohol. I would think that there is more to the story then just that (likely that the person had other medical problems as well). More likely it was because the alcohol caused that person to be severely dehydrated (which is not a great way to be before donating blood in the first place). That being said i would not recommend drinking alcohol beforehand anyways because it will mean that the alcohol will remain in your plasma when you donate it and this will most likely affect someone who receives the donation. And if that person needs it for a critical reason giving them plasma that has some alcohol in it would not be a great thing.
    Thank you for clarifying and also thank you to everyone for the advice.

  10. #10

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    Beat me to it Zeek. I was going to say there is a massive difference between donating plasma and whole blood - whole blood they take 400mL at a time, whereas plasma is a larger volume, but over a longer amount of time due to the intensive process. I wouldn't drink an excessive amount of water beforehand as chances are you'll need to pee whilst donating. Your body should be able to compensate for the volume of lost plasma - it's unusual for someone to faint and this means they may have been dehydrated to start off with or just stood up too quickly before their body compensated. Just take it slow until your body has a chance to restore your blood volume - I do recommend drinking a lot of fluid after!

    Also, what's this about getting paid? Here in NZ we just do it for the warm fuzzies.

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