I Donate Plasma

If you are a college student, and would like to make extra money while “saving a life,” you should consider donating plasma.

I’ve now donated five times. It’s really easy and I’ve made approximately $170.


This is plasma. And here’s a quick summary from Wikipedia: Plasma is the yellow liquid in which blood cells are suspended and it makes up about 55% of your blood. It is 90% water and also contains proteins, clotting factors, etc. Plasma is used to manufacture medicines to treat immune system disorders.

The process is very simple. Basically, whenever I feel like it, I head over to my local Bio Life Plasma Center. The first time you go you have to go through a medical screening to make sure you are healthy. This takes an extra hour. A normal donation will take 45 to 90 minutes. I have super small veins and therefore must pump blood really slowly so it takes me an extra long time. But this probably won’t happen to you. Anyway, on a normal donation, you scan your fingerprint, answer a couple questions (Have you taken illegal drugs using a needle in the past week… Have you gotten a tattoo in the last 6 months… etc) and then a “nurse” (I don’t know what to call them) checks to make sure you’re ok to donate. This means checking your blood pressure and pricking your finger to test your blood’s protein and iron levels. Then you proceed to the donation area (which is a giant room with about 60 half-bed half-chair contraptions). You choose a chair based on your donation arm of choice and a “nurse” will come over to help you.


(People don’t actually look like that or this would be a frightening experience. I blurred the faces.) Basically a needle is inserted in your vein (I look away and distract myself during this part because the idea of needles makes me sick although the actual process doesn’t really hurt) and then blood is pumped out, spun around and the plasma is separated, and then pumped back into your arm. This happens about 6 times. Pretend I look like this:

I hate the thought and appearance of needles. But for the sake of blog expression, this is what the plasma donating setup looks like.

Then you’re done! And you get an injection of saline to replenish your bodily fluids which makes you feel super cold and tingly. You check out and receive money on your “plasma debit card.” Hooray!

3 thoughts on “I Donate Plasma

  1. It is a very good thing for each of us to donate what and where we can. The info on how the donating works helps lower people’s fear of the process. Nicely done!

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