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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default giving plasma for money

    I'm considering using a plasma donation place (one local one is https://octapharmaplasma.com/) to make some extra money by donating plasma. I was wondering about any stories about folk who have done such, if it seemed worthwhile or not. Basically I'm hoping to bolster my courage, or find out if it's not as good as it sounds. Even if you don't have experience with the company I mention, I reckon other places work similarly.

    Two main, and conflicting, reasons I want and don't want to do this:
    1) I'm doing some extra work at my real job, for pay that seems comparable to what they give for plasma. If I can make $300/month donating plasma, maybe even $200/month, that'd be more than I'm getting for some work that is making me feel like I don't like my job anymore. So I'd love to be able to keep the same financial benefit, while enjoying my real job again. I could afford to take some leave weekly to do a donation.
    2) I find the idea a bit terrifying, in an irrational fear sense. Not like phobic freakout levels, but a little panicky. I don't really mind having blood drawn for tests and such, but I had a bad experience the first time I tried to donate blood (and it became the only time thus far due to that.) Basically the person trying to stick the needle didn't do it well, and then told someone, such that I could overhear, that they didn't know what they were doing and needed help, which led to me panicking and getting faint. (Probably didn't help that I hadn't eaten that day; I plan to eat well on days I donate.) But I think once I get past the first donation, I believe that irrational fear will pass. But, also, the idea of the blood coming back into my body makes me feel squeamish. Like, I don't mind the idea of blood coming out, but the idea of something being pumped into my veins (even if it's blood that came out) makes me nervous.

    And I'm assuming they'd be taking precautions about COVID, though I admit going out a few times a month to a building is also a source of nervousness. (Working from home currently.)

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Male

    Default Re: giving plasma for money

    I've donated plasma, though I'm not sure my experience will be of much help to you. Mainly because all plasma and blood donations in my country are voluntarily (unpaid).

    So to me it was always more of a curious hobby. A fun "going out" activity where I was pampered, given nice snacks and drinks, read a magazine for an hour and left feeling good about myself.

    Because of a (maybe naÔve) trust in the government it also felt like a safe environment. Chat with a GP every time, easy insight into all kinds of blood values. I used to keep an Excel file that graphed out my HB values over time - which was surprisingly fun. Not many other people get a casual monthly screening.

    I think that's such a different mindset and environment that the two aren't really comparable. Even though I did it without payment, I'm not sure I would have done it for money - strangely. I'm not sure how commercial donation centers look and work. I can imagine it's much less of a happy, cute environment.
    I completely understand the icky feeling when you see your own bodily fluids move through a machine and back into your body - it's a strange sight. I think it's easier to do things you're uncomfortable with because you are helping others, than to do the uncomfortable things to help yourself? On the other hand, you get used to it. In your normal, daily life, it's quite uncommon for blood to leave your body - and especially for it to go back in. So that just takes some getting used to.

    The preparation you mentioned (eating well before a donation) helps a lot too. Not just physically but also mentally; like I said, it helps turn the situation from an uncomfortable situation into a fun activity.
    That mindset might also help with the COVID-nervousness. Maybe it's even a relief to finally have a valid, (partly) altruistic reason to go out again, to a location you trust?
    Last edited by Murk; 2021-01-20 at 04:57 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Essex, England
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    Male

    Default Re: giving plasma for money

    While it was unpleasent, I wouldn't let your experience of blood doning put you off doing plasma - or at least put you off from trying it once. It is a different processs, and you are unlikley to get the same idiot again.

    I used to donate blood, and bad experiences were very rare -I never had any, and I only knew of two or three (one of whom was completely phobic about needles, but wanted to at least say that he had tried). I don't know how many times I donated, but I do have a gold card (50) and was well on my way to platinum (75) when I had to stop, so it was more than a few.

    I did consider plasma donation, but was put off by the fact that the donation centre was the opposite side of London from me (and that I wouldn't be able to donate blood any more).

    (Of course, this is the UK, and so it's all voluntary rather than paid. They were very strict on the eating beforehand - it really was quite important)
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

    "The main skill of a good ruler seems to be not preventing the conflagrations but rather keeping them contained enough they rate more as campfires." Rogar Demonblud

    "Hold on just a d*** second. UK has spam callers that try to get you to buy conservatories?!? Even y'alls spammers are higher class than ours!" Peelee

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Rockphed's Avatar

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    Nov 2006
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    Near Giant Graffiti.
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    Default Re: giving plasma for money

    I have donated sold plasma, though it was 10 years ago now. $300 per month sounds about right, though I think when I did it you would have gotten a bit less. I think the rules were twice a week with at least 2 days between. You went, filled out a form, had them check that your blood was healthy (iron levels etc.), and waited for them to call your name. It took between 1 and 3 hours at the place (though you might have been able to schedule a time where if you showed up you would be at the front of the line to be called to the needles). They were insistent that you should eat before hand and I always had problems because my hydration was bad. I eventually gave up because I made better money working and didn't have time to go and donate plasma (and getting the needle in my vein was always annoying). The place I went had a bunch of screens playing movies to watch while you donated (which took between 15 minutes and an hour, depending on your hydration).

    And it isn't so much having things get pumped back in to your veins as it is (essentially) adding a long loop to your vein that takes some things out of your blood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Starfall
    When your pants are full of crickets, you don't need mnemonics.
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

    Now offering unsolicited advice.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: giving plasma for money

    I gave plasma for 12 years before some medicines i had to start taking invalidated me.

    The needle is pretty much the same as an IV needle. A definite prick, but not anything to cause serious pain unless someone is grossly incompetent. (Interestingly, i never had a bad experience giving plasma but I did when I had my colonoscopy.).

    The key thing to track is time. It takes 40-50 minutes usually once you are actually taken back. You have wait time ahead of that, which can range from a few minutes to over an hour. Bring a book/tablet/etc. to keep you occupied.

    Some centers have a supervised child play area where you can leave your child while donating (the one I went to did) if that's an issue.
    "That's a horrible idea! What time?"

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2021

    Default Re: giving plasma for money

    Iím surprised they say you can donate so often. I once gave a series of directed plasma donations for a kid with neuroblastoma (donít google that) and they scheduled me for 1.5 to 2 weeks between each donation. My recollection is vague but I thought thatís how much time my body needed to replenish its stocks. Donating twice a week seems like it might lead to less plasma being collected over time.

    The process itself is a bit weird. I actually like giving blood, so that helped. But with plasmaphoresis you get this odd cadence of 60 seconds drawing blood, then 60 seconds pushing it back into your arm, then drawing again, then pushing again, etc. for about 2 hours. The pushing part is not painful or uncomfortable, not even icky. Just feels a bit... odd. It stresses your vein after a while so it was important to periodically squeeze a stress ball over those 2 hours.

    The most important thing is to have a good phlebotomist who can find a good vein. Iíve definitely had experiences like yours, being mangled by an inexperienced phlebotomist who actually verbalized their frustration in front of me. Not cool. But thatís not typical - most are good, and some are great. Maybe if you mention your fears they will make sure to pair you with a more experienced one.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Rockphed's Avatar

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    Nov 2006
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    Near Giant Graffiti.
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    Default Re: giving plasma for money

    Quote Originally Posted by subtledoctor View Post
    Iím surprised they say you can donate so often. I once gave a series of directed plasma donations for a kid with neuroblastoma (donít google that) and they scheduled me for 1.5 to 2 weeks between each donation. My recollection is vague but I thought thatís how much time my body needed to replenish its stocks. Donating twice a week seems like it might lead to less plasma being collected over time.

    The process itself is a bit weird. I actually like giving blood, so that helped. But with plasmaphoresis you get this odd cadence of 60 seconds drawing blood, then 60 seconds pushing it back into your arm, then drawing again, then pushing again, etc. for about 2 hours. The pushing part is not painful or uncomfortable, not even icky. Just feels a bit... odd. It stresses your vein after a while so it was important to periodically squeeze a stress ball over those 2 hours.

    The most important thing is to have a good phlebotomist who can find a good vein. Iíve definitely had experiences like yours, being mangled by an inexperienced phlebotomist who actually verbalized their frustration in front of me. Not cool. But thatís not typical - most are good, and some are great. Maybe if you mention your fears they will make sure to pair you with a more experienced one.
    As mentioned above, for the plasmaphoresis I have experienced typically lasted less than an hour with the needle in the arm. If they were collecting more at a time it probably took longer for your body to replenish it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Starfall
    When your pants are full of crickets, you don't need mnemonics.
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

    Now offering unsolicited advice.

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