Donation on plasma is not as common as blood donation, but in certain situations, such as natural disaster and increased need, donating plasma can actually save someone's life. Many people have questions about donating plasma and the procedure involved in it. You may already know that they will take blood from you, separate plasma from it, and then they return the blood to your body. This might make many of you wonder, "Is donating plasma good for you?" Let's find out more about it.
Is Donating Plasma Bad for You?
There are certain donor eligibility requirements, and if you meet them, plasma donation is perfectly safe for you. In fact, there are many benefits of donating on plasma for healthy adults. While there can be some minor side effects, they should not stop you from making a donation. It is worth mentioning that in rare cases, serious side effects can also appear.
Pros of Donating Plasma
You Can Earn Some Money
Unlike blood donations, you may get some monetary compensation for making a plasma donation. While you may have to make two donations per week, you can earn up to $200 a month. Some plasma centers also offer food certificates, gift cards, and other items with a cash value.
You Can Help Others
Donating plasma is a simple way to help other people who may be struggling with a life-threatening condition. In case of natural disasters, your donations can actually make a great difference between life and death for many victims. You can get some monetary compensation and your donations will still help save someone's life.
It Protects You from Serious Diseases
Through plasma donations, you can actually lower your risk of developing serious cardiovascular complications. That is partly because you will be screened out thoroughly before making the donation, and this helps identify any serious disease in its early stage, which increases your chances of survival.
You Can Help Kids
Thousands of kids are diagnosed leukemia every year, and they can only survive if they get enough blood plasma regularly. By making a donation, you will help those kids survive. Moreover, many burn victims require plasma without which their injuries would never heal properly. Your donations will certainly make a difference in this case.
Cons of Donating Plasma
You May Feel Tired
While the process is safe, it can be tiring to donate plasma. Some people may notice their bodies wear out after some time – they might develop collapsed veins. If you donate regularly, it may become difficult to find veins for donation. You would not be allowed to donate if you become weak after donating regularly.
You May Find It a Bit Uncomfortable
This is usually true when you donate plasma for the first time. You have to answer a questionnaire before you can make a donation. The questionnaire may include some very personal questions, and some people may even find it uncomfortable to answer them. You also need to drink a couple of glasses of water first, and it can be a bit uncomfortable as well. You usually do not feel that way when you donate regularly.
You May Affect Your Health a Bit
There is not an immediate bad effect of donating plasma, but your long-term health may suffer. You do not have to worry about it though, if you donate occasionally. If you donate regularly, you may notice up to 10% decrease in the antibody production levels in the body.
You May Become Dehydrated
You need to keep in mind that plasma is water based, which is the reason why regular donations could lead you dehydrated. In this case, you may experience issues like lightheadedness, nausea, and even fainting. Keeping your body hydrated is of immense importance for donors.
You May Lose Calcium Reserves
Many donation centers often make use of anti-coagulants to get the plasma out of the blood. They use it to make the process easier and faster. The use of these anti-coagulants would remove the calcium from the blood, which is why it is important to restore the levels of calcium before returning the blood back to your body. If that is not done, you might end up experiencing some bad effects.
You Should Overcome the Fear of Needles
What's more, you have to overcome your fear of needles if you want to donate plasma. Keep in mind that you may have a needle inserted in your body for up to half an hour during the donation process.
How to Avoid Risks When Donating Plasma
Is donating plasma bad for you? No, it is not bad, but there are risks associated with it and it can be hard on your body. There may have some issues, such as nerve damage, lumbago, blood loss, etc., but you can take steps to lower your risk of developing these side effects. For instance:
Include more protein in your diet. You should opt for spinach, peanut butter, bacon, egg yolks, and red fish to get more protein.
Have something rich in slow-metabolizing sugar to avoid feeling dizzy after a donating. The reason is that plasma donations can drain your body's sugar, which could lead to passing out. Eating whole-grain cereal, high-fiber bars, brown rice, and fruits like apples would certainly help.
Do not smoke before donating plasma. It elevates your blood pressure and may even keep you from making a donation. It also thins your blood, which puts you at an increased risk of experiencing blood loss.