How Much Do You Get Paid to Donate Plasma (+13 FAQs Answered)

Plasma is the largest part of blood. It accounts for 55% of the volume and contains essential substances like proteins, antibodies, and enzymes. 

Breakthroughs in science allowed the healthcare industry and pharmaceuticals to use plasma to help patients with rare disorders live normal lives. Unfortunately, plasma is scarce.

Many plasma collection centers offer compensation to motivate people to donate more and deal with the deficiency. So, how much do you get paid to donate plasma? Let’s find out. 

Can I Donate Plasma for Money?

Plasma transfusions have paved the way for life-saving therapies. These procedures benefit thousands of patients with rare diseases like immunodeficiency disorders. 

The American Red Cross states that blood and plasma donations are made out of goodwill. As such, the organization doesn’t compensate donors. However, the scarcity of plasma gave birth to many plasma collection centers willing to pay donors a substantial amount.

You can type “highest-paying plasma donation center near me” in your search engine and see what pops out. However, if you are considering it as a way to supplement your current income, here are some things you need to know before you commit. 

1. How long does it take to donate plasma?

Plasma donation usually takes from one to three hours to complete, depending on the screening process of the donation center. People who repeatedly donate attest that it takes them between 45 and 90 minutes.

For first-time donors, the process takes longer because of the medical screening and testing required. Plasma donation is much more extensive than blood donation. Collection centers separate the plasma component during blood extraction and return the blood cells to the donor.

2. Does it hurt donating plasma?

There’s no need to worry about pain because donating plasma doesn’t hurt. Donors should only feel a stinging sensation during the insertion of the needle for extraction, similar to what people experience during blood donation.

Most donors liken the experience of needle insertion to a bee sting. But, after that, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort. Furthermore, employees of donation centers are trained to assist donors and make them as comfortable as possible throughout the process.

3. How old do you have to be to donate plasma?

Interested donors should meet the minimum age and weight requirement to donate plasma. According to donation centers, a person should be at least 18 years old and weigh 110 lbs.

In the past, donation centers had an upper age limit for donors. While this restriction still exists in some countries, especially in Europe, it was abolished in the US.

4. How many times a week can you donate plasma?

If you’ve donated blood in the past, you know that you can only do so once every 56 days. However, plasma donations can be performed more frequently.

According to the American Red Cross, an individual can donate plasma once every 28 days. However, private plasma collection companies allow donations twice a week since the body can replenish plasma 48 hours after the extraction.

5. Why do they check your arms and elbows when donating plasma?

why they check your arms and elbows when you donate plasma

When you go to a collection center, the staff will conduct a thorough examination to ensure your viability as a donor and that nothing goes wrong during the process.

Examining your arms and elbows for bruising at the venipuncture site is a mandatory step. Although bruising during donation isn’t normally a cause for concern, some people find it worrying.

Usually, bruising happens when donating plasma because the vein is pierced, and blood leaks into the surrounding tissue. Another possible reason is that some of the tiny, fragile blood vessels get injured upon insertion of the needle.

6. Do you get paid every time you donate plasma?

Not all plasma donors get paid. If you go to the American Red Cross, the agency won’t pay you, but you can find private companies that compensate plasma donors.

The explanation behind the distinction is ethical. Plasma from the American Red Cross is usually used for hospital patient transfusions. Meanwhile, private companies break down the plasma into different components for pharmaceutical use. 

7. How much do you get for donating plasma the first time?

First-time plasma donors receive higher compensation from private companies than regular donors.

For example, in CSL Plasma, first-time donors can make as much as $1,000 in their first month. However, the amount varies depending on the center’s location, so you’ll need to check the latest CSL Plasma pay chart in 2022. You’ll find the centers’ addresses and contact details on the company’s website.

8. What do you need to bring to your first plasma donation?

Every center will have its checklist for plasma donation. However, the requirements for first-time donors are pretty much the same. You’ll need to bring the following:

  • A valid identification issued by the government like a driver’s license or military ID
  • Proof of your social security number
  • Proof of residence like a utility bill, lease contract, or mail postmarked within 60 days

9. Does the Red Cross pay for plasma?

As we’ve mentioned above, the Red Cross doesn’t pay people for donating plasma or blood. Usually, plasma from the Red Cross is used at hospitals for transfusion, so compensating donors would be unethical.

However, some people believe this stand should be abolished. The current shortage of plasma can be helped by providing monetary coverage to encourage more people to donate regularly.

10. What disqualifies you from donating plasma?

The most common reason to prevent someone from donating is illness or medical conditions like hepatitis and HIV. The virus can be carried in the plasma and transmitted to patients during transfusion. It would also make the donation nonviable for pharmaceutical use.

Traveling is another reason. For example, individuals who recently visited specific areas with known outbreaks of illnesses from transmissible pathogens like Ebola or Zika virus won’t be allowed to donate plasma.

11. Is plasma money taxable?

Most centers that extract blood for plasma donation pay donors a sizable amount. That is considered a form of self-employed or unaffiliated tax for the IRS, especially for individuals who donate regularly. That implies the person is in the plasma donation business.

12. How do you get paid to donate plasma?

The process for getting payment for plasma donation is straightforward. Centers usually send their payments through reloadable prepaid or debit cards after every donation. Donors can use most of these cards at ATMs nationwide. Donors receive their prepaid cards after passing the medical screening and testing process before their first donation.

13. How much do you get paid to donate plasma at BioLife?

Each plasma collection center sets its own pay chart and compensation rates. Even within a company like BioLife, the rates depend on the particular center. However, according to previous and current donors, compensation can range from $30 to $50. Because of promotions, some plasma donors earn as much as $900 a month.

Conclusion

Donation is a reasonable and practical solution to address the nation’s problems of plasma scarcity. It also helps solve some individuals’ financial problems by serving as an additional income. BioLife, CSL Plasma, or Grifols plasma pay chart for 2022 show that regular donors can make about $1,000 per month.

Apart from monetary benefits, donation, whether blood or plasma, can help save patients during treatment and surgery. According to organ donation statistics, one of the most significant risks during operations is bleeding out. If hospitals have a sufficient blood and plasma supply, this problem can be effectively eliminated.

The drawback of donation is its impact on the health of donors. Although the body is known to replace plasma within mere 48 hours, some healthcare professionals admit they’re still unsure of the long-term effects of regular donation.