By Isaac Davis
When we think of ways to make money, saving a life doesn’t spring to mind. Plasma donation is an option that can do both. It has few requirements and side-affects, but saves thousands of lives every year and compensates you after each donation.
So why aren’t we all doing it? Well, there are some boxes to fill. For your first donation you must undergo a rigorous medical history questionnaire and several other checks, such as your weight and blood pressure.
One Roanoke student said, “It did take over four hours. They have to be sure that this process will not be of significant detriment to your health.”
However, this process only has to be endured by first time donors and at quarterly intervals to ensure that the safety of donors, so do not be perturbed. At the end of the day there is also the procedure itself and yes, there are needles. An average plasma extraction takes between 40-55 minutes. After an Iodine swab, you are hooked up the machine.
“Basically it takes some blood, spins it around a little to separate the plasma and then returns the red blood. They do this five times, each is called a draw, and then you’re out,” a returning donor said.
A donor commented, “[It hurts] a bit. It feels weird more than anything and your arm gets a bit dead.”
The nursing staffs are always attentive and always vigilant by checking up on donors, offering stress balls, and joking between themselves to make a comfortable atmosphere. As for side-effects, some people note a slight general fatigue and a bit of bruising from the needle. It might all be worth it though for the $75, according to some donors.
Overall donating plasma is an efficient and safe process tarnished only by public squeamishness. The waiting room isn’t a congregation in their Sunday best, and the donation room is full of people with needles and tubes coming out of their arms. This isn’t a day center; it is a medical institution that saves lives. For quick money and an easy way to give back to society, plasma donation should not be overlooked.