6

votes

Donating Plasma. Anything to worry about? Update: 11/3/11

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 27, 2011 at 1:53 PM

I'm broke as a joke and having a craptastic time finding a job so I'm looking into plasma donation to supplement my non-existent income. If I go in twice a week I can bring in an extra $350 a month which would cover a decent amount of monthly bills.

I Crossfit 3-4x a week and I know I might not perform at the level I am now but at this point, I won't be able to afford my membership for much longer so barring other risks, plasma donation takes precedence over Crossfit. Many of you are multitudes smarter than I and may have experience with this topic, so what are the risks of plasma donation and are they any different for a paleo eating Crossfitter than the common SAD person?

I obviously won't do it if it's going to affect my immune system adversely but if there aren't any terrible side effects then I can see this as a decent way to bring in some extra cash each month. Thanks in advance.

UPDATE 11/3/11-

So I donated yesterday and I have to say, it was a very painless process (besides the giant needle they used to suck the blood out of my body.) I went through BioLife Plasma Services and I will definitely be going back. The employees were extremely pleasant to be around and very helpful in answering my countless questions about the tests they were doing and the actual donation process. I thought I'd do a quick write up of what exactly went on while I was there.

For starters, I have a newfound respect for just how valuable plasma is to those who need it. The clinic was full of brochures and information that went in to detail on why plasma is important and how it helps those that require it to live normal lives. This is something I can definitely see myself doing from here on out despite the fact that it puts some extra spending money in my pocket.

I had to answer A LOT of monotonous questions about blood borne diseases and past medical history and I totally understand why, can't be giving sick people sick plasma. Once the questions were done I had a very quick physical; heartbeat, lung listening, ear, nose and throat check and that was over. Then I had my finger pricked so that they could check my hematocrit and plasma protein levels. While the blood sample was spinning they checked my heart rate, blood pressure and weight. I feel bad for the tech responsible for all these tests, being of a science background I had a question about how everything worked and why it was significant and she answered all my queries with a giant smile on her face.

After all those test results came back normal I was ready to get hooked up. I was set up in an extremely comfortable recliner and had the machine explained to me. Basically, it draws your blood into a reservoir, spins this blood down to separate the red blood cells from the plasma, mixes the red blood cells with saline and pumps it back into you. This process was repeated 5 or 6 times and took about a half hour all together. Most people were reading or listening to music, I had my laptop out going over material for my exam this morning. Once the plasma bottle was filled up I got pumped with saline to make up what they took out of me (pretty cool sensation, not uncomfortable, just...weird.)

And that's it, I got unhooked and was good to go. No light-headedness or any other adverse feelings, I felt pretty awesome actually.

I skipped the WOD yesterday but went this morning at 7am and performed like normal, definitely not affected by the plasma loss.

Needless to say, I'll be going back for more, I don't know if I'll be doing twice a week but going in and getting 20 bucks (30 bucks for the second visit in 7 days) to study for less than an hour is pretty sweet. It also feels pretty awesome to be doing some good with my free time.

Happy to answer any questions people have about the process, thanks again for your answers!

850e2a90ca34ad7ce7be8ac4c9d7cc1a

on November 04, 2011
at 04:07 AM

That's a joke kamal.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:13 AM

Man, that sounds gnarly. I wouldn't have gone back either.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Oh my god. Are you the famous bodybuilder Gregg Valentino? If so, your answer is incredibly ironic...http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_interviews/the_most_hated_man_in_bodybuilding;jsessionid=0EB29F11B91B73755AC8C1BE2534B657-mcd02.hydra

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 27, 2011
at 11:33 PM

Right, plasma doesn't have the iron, just pointing out the possible health benefit of giving blood.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 11:18 PM

Big fan of Chris Kesser and I think iron overload can be a very real problem but donating plasma won't affect iron levels as far as I can tell. Either way I think donating blood is a pretty awesome thing to do and would like to start doing it regularly.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 10:07 PM

If I find out it's not detrimental to my health I'd love to be more altruistic and keep giving for reasons other than easy money. +1 for being so good natured ;)

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 09:53 PM

That's really interesting, I didn't think about the possibility of damaged red blood cells being returned to me. Still waiting for that expert too ;) +1

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:46 PM

Yeah that's blood, you can give plasma up to twice in a 7 day period.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Definitely not something I'd do long term, I've heard the same things about track marks. Appreciate the input!

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on October 27, 2011
at 03:48 PM

My father in law donates plasma as often as he can (he says its not for the money), and he looks like grim death the rest of the day. His skin will be white as a sheet, he can't follow conversation, and he sleeps most of the day. He has a permanent looking indentation on both arms. Ick. I have heard its addicting -not sure why.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on October 27, 2011
at 02:40 PM

I upvote this partly for the broke-as-a-joke tag....so there

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Also, having access to kettlebells, climbing ropes, sleds, medicine balls, pull-up bars and a group of like-minded individuals to work out with is pretty invaluable ;)

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:22 PM

I help out at the gym and have a significantly reduced membership cost. Just trying to emphasize the fact that I want to keep working out but I'm willing to limit workouts if it means making some extra cash each month. I could have worded that better, like everything else I've ever written on this site ;)

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 27, 2011
at 02:14 PM

If you are so short on cash why even continue paying a crossfit membership? Exercise is free... :)

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9 Answers

2
850e2a90ca34ad7ce7be8ac4c9d7cc1a

on November 04, 2011
at 02:58 AM

I donated plasma when I was vegan. I did ok for about 5 months. Then they messed up with the needle and when they pumped the blood back in. It didn't go in to the vain it made my arm huge and black and blue for a week or two and I fainted a few times on the way home on the bus luckily I was sitting each time. I never went back. So be careful of that because it sucked even though it made my one arm look really buff :)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:13 AM

Man, that sounds gnarly. I wouldn't have gone back either.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Oh my god. Are you the famous bodybuilder Gregg Valentino? If so, your answer is incredibly ironic...http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_interviews/the_most_hated_man_in_bodybuilding;jsessionid=0EB29F11B91B73755AC8C1BE2534B657-mcd02.hydra

850e2a90ca34ad7ce7be8ac4c9d7cc1a

on November 04, 2011
at 04:07 AM

That's a joke kamal.

2
286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

on October 27, 2011
at 09:43 PM

I give plasma - but not 2 times a wk - but no side effects at all - apart from feeling good for doing something for someone else - we don't get paid for it here!

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 10:07 PM

If I find out it's not detrimental to my health I'd love to be more altruistic and keep giving for reasons other than easy money. +1 for being so good natured ;)

1
122173860d67e79df873738760dc18be

on January 10, 2013
at 01:29 AM

I donate twice a week. At first I felt tired for hours afterwards...but now I wait about an hour and drink my bulletproof coffee and Im good until dinner. Only negative side effect is you are not supposed to exercise on days you donate...but I just make those my two off days.

One other negative: I do intermittent fasting, but unless you want it to take an hour to fill the plasma bottle, you need to eat something with a good amount of protein before you go, and I go early in the morning.

1
D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on June 23, 2012
at 09:28 PM

I used to sell plasma when I lived in Portland OR -- also due to being broke as a joke. It was way before paleo or crossfit though. Never had any problems, symptoms, etc. Easy money, and I felt good about its uses. I'd say I did it maybe 6 times over 2 months and only stopped cause I got a job.

1
Dbb8666905796a86f1dba08860555756

on June 23, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I have been donating plasma twice a week for the last 5 weeks. So far no adverse effects, but I would like to know if anyone has any information on long term effects.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 27, 2011
at 08:57 PM

I was hoping someone with direct knowledge would weigh in on this...IMHO, I think it's problematic b/c to get the amount of plasma they want per visit, a larger volume of blood is removed, the blood is mechanically (centrifuge) separated into it's parts and the non-plasma part (mostly red blood cells) is put back in you. I think I wouldn't want "bruised" red blood cells that I have to deal with = inflamation? Donating once in a while would be fine and maybe noble but not at the rate you are thinking of.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 09:53 PM

That's really interesting, I didn't think about the possibility of damaged red blood cells being returned to me. Still waiting for that expert too ;) +1

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 27, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Chris Kresser had a recent podcast episode talking about excess iron and blood donation. Not that we all need to run out and donate blood to be helathy, but just something to mull over.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 27, 2011
at 11:33 PM

Right, plasma doesn't have the iron, just pointing out the possible health benefit of giving blood.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 11:18 PM

Big fan of Chris Kesser and I think iron overload can be a very real problem but donating plasma won't affect iron levels as far as I can tell. Either way I think donating blood is a pretty awesome thing to do and would like to start doing it regularly.

0
F3920b85be76a5d8cf466d805bfb99e4

(638)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:41 PM

I was not aware they would let you donate that often. My local blood bank, where I've donated both blood and plasma, will not schedule more than 6 weeks apart.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 05:46 PM

Yeah that's blood, you can give plasma up to twice in a 7 day period.

-1
92d074d9d83fe62cc73c10eb5545a3b4

on March 14, 2013
at 10:38 AM

DONT DO IT!!!...your DICK will Never wont STay hard after,a while

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