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.


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.