When I lived in Phoenix, Arizona from time to time, I donated my blood plasma for a few dollars. I usually referred to the process as going to the stab lab. The first time I donated plasma, I felt a bit strange. The process is bit intimidating for the neophyte.
You go into the donation center, and sign in. The first timer will usually have a boatload of paperwork to fill out, name address, medical information and the like. You have to state whether or not you are gay, using IV drugs, have had Hepatitis, have nay new piercings, or tattoos, or engage in any risky behavior along those lines. If you do, you will be banned from donating.
Then you will be given a physical, by a doctor. The first place I had gone to in Phoenix, (which has either gone out of business, or has been bought out by a larger company – I am not certain which) had a Doctor who looked older than Moses. However I will say he was thorough.
After you see the doctor you are certified to donate your plasma. When I started, the process took about two hours once you got back to the donation area.
Be prepared to wait a long time, depending on the time of day you go. I always took a book with me, to keep me occupied while I was waiting, and during donation.
The reason donation used to take longer was that they would take a pint of your blood at a time, then take it back to the back of the center, and run it through a centrifuge to separate out the plasma from the red blood cells. Plasma is a straw colored liquid that is used to make many blood based products for medical use.
Once the plasma was separated from you blood, then they would bring the blood back to you, and go through a stringent identification process to insure you were getting your own blood cells back. (Getting someone else’s blood cells could be very detrimental to your health.) This process would be repeated about three or four times depending on your weight.
I had stopped donating for a while, and started up again a couple of years later. The donation system had changed. Now they had automated machines that once you had the I.V. inserted, the machine would do everything. It would draw out a pint of blood, and separate the plasma at the same time. You red cells would then be returned to you. This eliminated the need to double and triple check identification. It was much safer.
In Phoenix, there are several places you can go to sell your plasma.
Talecris Plasma Resources, Inc.
5949 W. Northern Ave. #101
Glendale, Arizona 85301
Biomat USA Phoenix 19th Avenue Donor Cen (AZ)
4020 North 19th Avenue (Zoom in)
Phoenix, AZ 85015
1000 E. Broadway
Tempe, AZ 85282
M-F 7-7, Sat and Sun 7-7
Ph: 480-894-1330 Fax: 480-829-1830
Should you choose to sell your plasma, make certain that the donation center is clean, and they follow safe donation procedures. The techs that start your I.V. should be licensed phlebotomists. After all, Plasma donation is an invasive procedure.
Is selling our plasma ethical? That is for the individual to decide. You are providing a service, and plasma is something that your body will renew on a regular basis. You can donate no more than twice in a seven day period, so you body can restore the plasma you have donated. You are not selling an organ; you are providing needed blood plasma that may help keep someone alive.