Donation Experience

Debunking common myths about plasma donation: what you need to know

Donation Experience

Debunking common myths about plasma donation: what you need to know

July 3, 2024

Is plasma donation painful and time-consuming? False! Let’s clear up some common misconceptions about plasma donation.

Many myths surround plasma donation, often discouraging willing donors with concerns about pain, long waits, safety, recovery time, and negative social perceptions around donation. Let’s clear up some of these common misconceptions to show that plasma donation is a safe, manageable, and altruistic act.

Woman donating plasma

Myth 1: plasma donation is painful

You may have heard that donating plasma is painful, but it isn’t. The initial prick of the needle might cause brief discomfort, similar to that of a routine blood test. Mild side effects like sweating, feeling dizzy, or nausea are rare, but should you experience some, your center’s medical staff is there to assist you.

Myth 2: plasma donation is time-consuming

Though it takes longer than a standard blood draw, a plasma donation session typically lasts about one hour, including the health screening. Modern centers have efficient procedures set in place to ensure the process is smooth and swift. You can even improve the speed of your plasma donation by preparing in the following ways:

  • eat a light nutritious meal a couple of hours before the donation
  • drink plenty of water
  • get adequate rest the night before the donation
  • avoid smoking or drinking alcohol 24 hours before the donation

Myth 3: it can weaken your immune system

Plasma contributes to preventing infection, but donating it does not weaken your immune system. In fact, plasma replenishes within 24-48 hours. Still, maintaining hydration and rest post-donation helps ensure a quick recovery and the safety of your donation experience.

Myth 4: you can get infected by donating plasma

All plasma donors go through rigorous health screenings to protect both donors and recipients. Upon arrival, especially if it is your first time donating, you will receive a complete health screening, and the plasma obtained through plasmapheresis is then tested for transmittable diseases such as:

  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • syphilis

All plasma collection equipment is sterilized and any equipment that comes in contact with the donor is used only once to eliminate the possibility of transmitting infections.

Myth 5: it is only for people experiencing financial problems

While some donate plasma for financial incentives, many others do so out of a desire to help others. Donors come from various backgrounds and donate for myriad reasons, including personal experiences with diseases or simply the wish to contribute to lifesaving treatments for burn victims or for people with rare, genetic, or autoimmune diseases.

Myth 6: plasma donors are not properly screened

Donation centers follow a strict protocol to check potential donors’ eligibility for plasma donation. As previously mentioned, if you are donating for the first time, you must undergo a thorough health screening that includes: 

  • a physical exam
  • medical history questions
  • blood tests

These measures ensure that the procedure is safe for you and your plasma recipients.

The benefits of plasma donation

Donating plasma is an act of generosity that saves lives. It helps in medical emergencies and is used to treat rare diseases. Moreover, in addition to the personal fulfillment it provides, it can also offer financial relief for those who need it.

When considering plasma donation, keep in mind that:

  • plasma donation is pain-free
  • it doesn’t harm your immune system
  • it will take only an hour
  • the procedure is safe thanks to the high health and safety standards and protocols in donation centers 
  • it is a voluntary procedure, and people with every kind of background may be eligible for it

For more information or if you have any concerns, visit the nearest donation center. The medical staff at the center will guide you through the process, answer all your questions, and ensure you feel comfortable with your decision to donate.

FAQs

Do you still have doubts about plasma donation? Our FAQs section will hopefully clear them up. Remember that our medical team and staff is always there to answer all your question in person.
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Donation Experience

Your plasma donation timeline

Donation Experience

Your plasma donation timeline

Plasma donation is an act of generosity that can make a difference in many people’s lives. If you are considering becoming a donor but are unfamiliar with the process, this guide will walk you through each step, helping you approach this rewarding experience with confidence and understanding.

What should I do before donating plasma?

Today is a big day! As you prepare to donate plasma for the first time, here are some key steps to ensure your body is ready:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water in the hours before your donation to ensure you are adequately hydrated.
  • Eat a balanced meal: Have a nutritious meal before your donation to maintain your energy levels and prevent lightheadedness.
  • Get enough sleep: Make sure you are well-rested before your donation to reduce the risk of feeling faint or dizzy.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Refrain from consuming alcohol or caffeinated beverages before your donation, as they can affect hydration levels and blood pressure.
  • Wear comfortable clothing: Dress in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be easily rolled up.
  • Follow pre-donation instructions: Adhere to any specific guidelines provided by your donation center, including avoiding certain medications or activities.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure a smooth and successful plasma donation experience. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask the donation center staff for assistance and support.

As you prepare to donate plasma for the first time, there are some key steps to ensure your body is ready

Getting to know each other better!

Upon arriving at the center, you will register as a donor, which is a straightforward process. Be sure to bring:

  • Valid ID
  • Proof of residency (utility bill, current lease, piece of mail with address)
  • Social security card

These documents will be used to fill out some informational forms and verify your identity.

You will be asked questions about your health and lifestyle to ensure that the donation is safe for you and for the people who will receive the donated plasma.  For your first visit, plan to spend at least 2 hours at the donation center, subsequent visits will require just over an hour, from check-in to donation.You will be asked questions about your health and lifestyle to ensure that the donation is safe for you and for the people who will receive the donated plasma.  For your first visit, plan to spend at least 2 hours at the donation center, subsequent visits will require just over an hour, from check-in to donation.

The complete donation procedure

After registration, you will undergo a quick physical exam to ensure you are fit to donate. This exam will include checks on your blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Once cleared, you will be seated in a reclining chair, and a needle will be placed in your arm to draw blood. The plasma is separated by a machine, and the red blood cells are returned to your body.

The donation process is entirely painless and generally takes approximately an hour. To help you stay relaxed while your plasma is being collected, remember to focus on your breathing or use some form of entertainment to pass the time!

Safety and hygiene protocols

Safety and hygiene are top priorities in plasma donation centers. Staff follow rigorous protocols to ensure that all plasma collection equipment is sterilized and that the donation process takes place in optimal hygienic conditions. Make sure to adhere to all hygiene rules provided by the staff and to inform them if you have any concerns or questions regarding the safety of the process.

What happens after you donate plasma?

After donating plasma, it is important to follow some guidelines to ensure your well-being and promote recovery.

  • Rest: take some time to rest after donation. If possible, try to avoid intense physical activity for the rest of the day.
  • Hydration: drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages to rehydrate after donation.
  • Nutrition: consume nutritious and balanced foods to provide your body with the energy it needs to recover. Avoid heavy or fatty meals.
  • No alcohol and smoking: avoid consuming alcohol and smoking for at least 4 hours after donation, as they can interfere with your recovery.

Plasma donation is a perfectly safe process: however, everyone can react differently to it, so it is important to listen to your body and act accordingly. If you have concerns or questions about your post-donation recovery, do not hesitate to contact the donation center or your doctor.

Plan a new donation!

After completing a donation, you can already plan the next one! Since the body regenerates plasma, the donation process can be done frequently and accompany you for most of your life. Additionally, by implementing certain good habits, you can maintain and improve your eligibility as a plasma donor.

FAQs

Do you still have doubts about plasma donation? Our FAQs section will hopefully clear them up. Remember that our medical team and staff is always there to answer all your questions in person.

Donation Experience

Temporary deferrals and plasma donation: everything you need to know

Donation Experience

Temporary deferrals and plasma donation: everything you need to know

April 10, 2024

Plasma donation plays a crucial role in providing life-saving medical treatments for a variety of conditions. That’s why donating is an important and generous act. As a donor or an aspiring one, you may have heard about temporary deferrals, a necessary aspect of the donation process that ensures your health and safety as well as the one of your plasma recipient. Most deferrals are temporary. So don’t worry if you have been deferred; you will soon be able to donate again!

6 common reasons for temporary deferral

 

1. Recent illness

If you have recently been ill or are currently experiencing symptoms of illness (cold, flu, COVID-19, sore throat, for example), you may be temporarily deferred. This precaution prevents the spread of infection and ensures both your well-being and the one of the recipients of your plasma donation. That’s why it’s important to refrain from donating until you’ve fully recovered.

 

2. Tattoos

If you got a tattoo within the last 3-6 months, you may be ineligible to donate plasma. The waiting period typically depends on how long it takes for the tattoo to heal fully. The reason behind this deferral is that needles, especially if unclean, can carry bloodborne illnesses that may not be immediately detectable when your blood gets tested.

 

3. Medication, surgery, and medical procedure

If you are on medication but still want to donate plasma, consult the medical staff at your center. Certain medications, such as antibiotics or antidepressants, and some vaccines may not be compatible with the donation process, necessitating a temporary suspension. Additionally, some pain medications can affect platelet counts; however, you can donate plasma if you stop taking them 48 hours prior to your appointment. If you’ve recently undergone surgery or specific medical procedures, including dental work, you may be temporarily deferred to allow time for your recovery and to ensure your overall well-being before you resume donation activities.

4. Anemia and iron levels 

If the hemoglobin test reveals that your hemoglobin level is lower than normal, it means you have a low red blood cell count. Anemia could therefore be a reason for temporary exclusion from donation. If you are a woman, your hemoglobin level must be at least 12.5 g/dL; for men, the minimum level is 13.0 g/dL. Below these values, you will not be able to donate. Low iron levels can also lead to a temporary deferral because insufficient levels may impact your well-being.

5. Pregnancy or recent childbirth

Being pregnant or having recently given birth can be another reason for your temporary deferral. Don’t worry! It’s a temporary condition that allows you time for recovery and protects your health and the one of your newborn.

6. Travels to high-risk areas

Have you recently traveled to regions with a high prevalence of infectious diseases (particularly those transmitted through blood)? Talk with your donation center because that could lead to a temporary deferral. 

You may be ineligible to donate plasma with a new tatoo

Temporary deferrals are a fundamental aspect of the plasma donation process, reflecting the commitment of donation centers to maintain high standards of safety and quality. As donors generously contribute to the well-being of others, understanding and respecting temporary deferrals contributes to the overall success of plasma donation programs. By working with donation centers and following established guidelines, you play a vital role in advancing medical treatments and improving the lives of individuals around the world.

FAQs

Do you still have doubts about plasma donation? Our FAQs section will hopefully clear them up. Remember that our medical team and staff are always there to answer all your questions in person.

Donation Experience

Women and plasma donation

Donation Experience

Women and plasma donation

Plasma donation is a safe and important process that helps save countless lives. As a woman, you might wonder whether your physiology or life stages affect your ability to donate plasma frequently.

Though there are few differences in terms of donation frequency and other characteristics between men and women, this article covers the key considerations you should take as a female donor.

Donation frequency for women donors

Whether you are a man or a woman, you can donate plasma twice within a seven-day period with at least 48 hours between donation visits. 

The volume collected depends on body weight, following the guidelines for plasma collection:

  • Donors weighing between 110–149 pounds (approximately 50.0–67.7 kilograms) can donate 625 milliliters (ml) of plasma, which weighs about 640 grams (g).

  • Donors weighing between 150–174 pounds (approximately 68.2–79.1 kilograms) can donate 750 ml of plasma, which weighs about 770 g.

  • Donors weighing 175 pounds or more (approximately 79.5 kilograms and above) can donate 800 ml of plasma, which weighs about 820 g.

These volume limits are set to guarantee your safety while also providing an adequate supply of plasma for medical needs. 

You might have heard that women can donate less frequently than men. This only happens because statistically, women get more temporary deferrals due to pregnancy or other medical reasons, but in general, there is no reason to worry. You can donate as often as your center indicates as long as you are healthy and follow the standards for donation.

a woman lying in a chair donating blasma

Health benefits of plasma donation for women

Doing good is good for you if you believe in the power of giving back. Regular donation helps you keep track of your health parameters like blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and weight. This may help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels. 

In addition, donating plasma can provide a mood boost from helping others, increasing your sense of service to the community and your mental health.

Plasma donation, pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant, unfortunately, you cannot donate plasma. This rule was put in place so that you can save all your energy for you and the baby until the end of the pregnancy. After delivery, you should wait at least six weeks to restore all your blood parameters to their previous levels before donating plasma again. 

What if you breastfeed after six weeks? You can donate if your doctor allows you to, according to the eligibility criteria that apply to all women.

Menstruation and plasma donation

Worried about donating during that time of the month? You can donate plasma during your menstrual period if you feel well and don’t have any health issues. In any case, if you are a frequent donor and a woman, it is always a good idea to regularly check your iron levels to make sure you don’t suffer from anemia.

Menopause and plasma donation

There are no limitations regarding plasma donation once you have reached menopause if you feel fit and well on the day. You can also donate plasma if you are taking hormonal replacement therapy HRT or other complementary, herbal, or homeopathic alternatives, to alleviate menopause symptoms.

Rh negative women and the Anti-D program

In addition, if you are an Rh-negative woman – which means that your blood type is negative and your blood cells lack the Rh protein called the D antigen – you can donate plasma for the Anti-D Program to prevent hemolytic disease in newborns. This is a condition where a mother’s immune system attacks her baby’s red blood cells if they are Rh-positive while she is Rh-negative.

Other health considerations

Conditions like anemia, which often affect women more than men, may affect your donor eligibility. Even though plasma donation has lower iron requirements than whole-blood donation, keeping track of your hemoglobin levels is always a good idea for your health. 

Overall, plasma donation is a rewarding experience that all women can easily do as long as they prioritize their health and well-being.

FAQs

Do you still have doubts about plasma donation? Our FAQs section will hopefully clear them up. Remember that our medical team and staff is always there to answer all your question in person.
FAQs

Donation Experience

 How often can you donate plasma?

Donation Experience

 How often can you donate plasma?

November 13, 2023

Plasma donation is a vital act of generosity that can save lives and improve the health of those in need. This selfless act provides a lifeline for individuals suffering from various medical conditions, including burns, immune disorders, and clotting disorders. If you’re considering becoming a plasma donor, it’s crucial to understand how often you can safely donate plasma and contribute to this life-saving endeavor.

Is donating plasma the same as donating blood?

First, it is important to understand that donating plasma is very different from donating blood. During plasma donations, we only take your plasma. Your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are all returned back to your body. In whole blood donations, ALL of these blood components are taken and donated – plasma, red and white blood cells, and platelets. That is why, with whole blood donations, you must wait longer between donations.

 

Is it safe to donate plasma?

Plasma donation is a safe and comfortable process that takes a little over an hour. If you are donating for the first time, you will undergo a medical screening to make sure you are healthy and fit. Our professionally trained staff will monitor your plasma donation to make sure you are comfortable at all times. All our centers use sterile plasma collection equipment to eliminate the possibility of transmitting viral infections.

How often can you donate plasma in a month?

To ensure your continued health and safety during plasma donation, there are limits to how frequently you are able to donate. You may donate plasma twice in a seven-day period and need at least one day in between donations. So, on average you can donate plasma about 4 times a month. Your body quickly replaces the lost plasma, which is why you’re able to donate fairly frequently!

If you’ve recently given blood, can you still donate plasma?

If you’ve recently donated blood, you must wait 8 weeks until you can donate blood or plasma again. This is why many individuals thinking of donating both will donate plasma FIRST. By donating plasma first, you only have to wait a few days before you are able to donate blood.

Prioritize your health and safety

To donate regularly, make sure to take care of your health and listen to your body. Prioritize a good nutrition, stay hydrated and rest well. We are so thankful for our donors who ask insightful questions and contribute their life-saving plasma. Anytime you have questions, pop into your nearest KEDPLASMA center or give us a call. We will be happy to walk you through the donation process, safety precautions, and more.

FAQs

Do you still have doubts about plasma donation? Our FAQs section will hopefully clear them up. Remember that our medical team and staff is always there to answer all your questions in person.
FAQs

Donation Experience

What are the possible side effects of donating plasma?

Donation Experience

What are the possible side effects of donating plasma?

This is one of the most common questions we get at KEDPLASMA, and the short answer is not many. Donating plasma is a low-risk procedure with few or no side effects. Because each donor undergoes a physical exam and medical history survey before entering our program, AND vitals are taken before every donation, we make sure you’re fit to donate!

Occasionally, a donor may experience mild side effects that resolve quickly after donation. In this article, we will go over the few possible side effects of plasma donation and how to counteract them!

Light-headedness or fainting during or after plasma donation

Lightheadedness, dizziness, or, in extreme cases, fainting can sometimes happen during the donation process. Usually, these side effects can be prevented by drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy meal before and after donating your plasma. In most cases, fainting occurs when a donor is fasting before donation or has a very strong fear of needles.

Bruising after plasma donation

As you may know from standard blood tests, needles can sometimes cause some bruising. During plasma donation, some donors might experience minor bruising (although this is uncommon). As you may know, some people’s veins are harder to access than others. This is why we regularly train all of our KEDPLASMA phlebotomists (those amazing employees who take your blood) and match every donor with the right phlebotomist for their vein type. This should make donating even easier than before!

 

Feeling tired after donating plasma

It’s not uncommon to feel a bit tired after donating plasma. This is your body’s way of responding to losing fluids and proteins. Staying hydrated and having a light snack can help alleviate this. We also recommend not doing strenuous physical activity immediately after donating to give your body some time to recover.

Getting a headache after donating plasma

In some rare cases, donors might feel like they have a headache after donating plasma. This is often due to dehydration. Since plasma contains a lot of water, it is very important to drink a lot of water (around 16 ounces) to prepare and replenish your liquids after donation. Please note that dehydration after donating plasma is usually not severe and passes quickly.

 

Is donating plasma safe?

Some donors wonder if they’re at risk for disease during the donation process. Absolutely not! For each and every donation, a new, sealed, sterile, one-time-use package is used to collect your plasma.  The needle placement site is sterilized. Your blood never leaves the closed system during the process. 

 

Plasma donation is safe, easy, and life-changing for patients worldwide who need your help. What are you waiting for? Head into your nearest KEDPLASMA center and donate today!

FAQs

Do you still have doubts about plasma donation? Our FAQs section will hopefully clear them up. Remember that our medical team and staff is always there to answer all your questions in person.
FAQs