Donating Plasma – How Do They Do It?

20 Jan

  Mom has gotten a lot of questions asked here in blogville, Facebook and by email about why she is donating plasma and how they do it.  I thought I would give mom the blog and let her explain everything.. it really is exciting when you think about it.  Take it away mom!

Personally, I’ve been wanting to give plasma for a very long time.  It helps a lot of different people with an assortment of medical problems.  I’ve even seen a commercial on television lately about plasma helping people with arthritis.

Once you decide that you want to donate plasma, you have to go through enrollment.  They will  go over a series of medical questions with you, you will watch a video, you will then do a medical enrollment, take vitals and lastly you will be seen by an on-site nurse.  If you make it through all of the criteria, then you are ready for a donation.  After the initial enrollment, each time you donate you will have your vitals taken before donating.  There are certain guidelines that you have to pass each time you donate.  For instance, blood pressure, temperature and pulse rate have to be within range.  Every time you go, you will have your weigh checked and you will also have your finger pricked so they can test your red blood cell count and your protein levels – which also have to be within range.

Once you pass all of above, then your next stop is the donor room.  Depending on how many nurses they have on staff that day depends on how many ‘beds’ they have open at one time.  A good bed to nurse ration is 12 beds.  And they tell you standing in line, for every 12-15 people ahead of you it could be one hour worth of wait.  So it’s not a quick thing.  I have waited 3-4 hours at a time.  But to me, giving plasma is worth the small price of inconvenience that I have to pay for waiting.

Giving blood plasma is a process called plasmapheresis.  Say that real quick huh?  You are hooked up to an IV in one of your arms.  Does it hurt?  I’ve had so many people ask me this.  The needle is bigger than when you are having a blood test.  Some nurses are also better than others – just like the doctors office.  I’ve had some nurses do it and I don’t feel a thing.  I’ve had other nurses do it where I cringe my eyes and try to breathe through the pain.  And then people ask if it’s painful why do you do it?  And I have to tell them that the little bit of uncomfortable pain that I might feel fleetingly is *nothing* compared to the people that it helps.  I have to keep thinking of the bigger picture – people that are in need.

Once you are hooked up the IV, your blood is pumped out into this machine and goes into the bottle (which is the middle part of the picture). The plasma is stripped from your blood and placed into a container.  The blood is then recirculated back into your body during a process they call the return.  Now how long does it take?  Well, depending on how much water you have drank throughout the past couple of days it can take anywhere between 35-90 minutes.  Personally, it takes me around 30-35 minutes if nothing goes wrong.

If you see the bottle in this picture, it shows you the amount that you are donating.  Plasma comes in all different colors – it can be bright red, pink, green or a tinge of white/red – all depending on the medicines that you take.  Mine comes out a greenish/white.  Over the Christmas holidays, I had a guy ask me why my color was green.  Without missing a beat, I told him that my father was an Elf.  Snorts – we all had a good laugh about that.

You can donate twice in a 7 day period.  By the time you read this posting, I will have made my 17 donation!  My personal goal was to donate 20 – so I’m almost there.  I’ve had ups and downs during the process.  One time, they couldn’t get my blood that was pumped out to return and I lost blood during the donation. Of course, I’ve been bruised at the IV site – it happens.  I’ve had times that my iron was too low to give that day.  I’ve had multiple problems with my pulse rate.  The rate has to be 100 or less.  I’ve had to sit out for 15 minutes to try the pulse again and there have also been times I couldn’t make it that day because of my pulse.

*Pictures are off the internet at various web sites to share how the process works.


Posted by on 01/20/2016 in Bacon


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25 responses to “Donating Plasma – How Do They Do It?

  1. Cupcake

    01/20/2016 at 6:44 am

    Yikes! *gulp*

    • Piglove

      01/20/2016 at 9:12 am

      I know. But it really is worth it. ❤️ June

  2. katsrus

    01/20/2016 at 7:36 am

    Very wonderful thing you do. Thanks for the informative post.
    Sue B

    • Piglove

      01/20/2016 at 9:12 am

      You are so welcome. June

  3. easyweimaraner

    01/20/2016 at 8:46 am

    It’s great to give really something personal to help people in need. I wish more people would think that way, mostly they ignore the ads to donate blood or plasma :o( my mom donated thrombocytes as she was a young thingy… she always thought it is impressing somehow that there are people around who carry a part of her now :o)

    • Piglove

      01/20/2016 at 10:48 am

      Isn’t that so cool!? To give part of yourself knowing that you are helping someone else down the road is an awesome thing to feel. And you know what – I did order what they call an Express Card months ago – they said it takes 6-8 weeks to get it but I haven’t yet. It lets you go to the front of all of the lines. Well, the hub unit thinks I won’t get it until I’ve done my 20 commitments. Then you just *know* if I get it, I have to do 7 more – what the card entitles. It’s only the right thing to do right? AND I almost have enough points to order a SECOND card. ❤ June

      • easyweimaraner

        01/20/2016 at 11:24 am

        It is great, I agree :o) I only hope the people who got a part of my momma will not start to have the same ideas like her now hahahaha. I wish we had this cards here too, my mom will ask the dogtor when she has to see him again (probably tomorrow, because she landed on her hell-bow today again)

      • Piglove

        01/20/2016 at 11:59 am

        WHAT?! Oh no!! Your mom fell again on her hell-bow? How bad is it? Is she okay? Does she need soft padding on the floor? Cause you know, I can send her some – snorts with piggy laughter. XOXO – Bacon

      • easyweimaraner

        01/20/2016 at 12:09 pm

        it just looks scary… the bone is probably ok. we will wait till tomorrow and we hope it’s better then… hope tramadol will do the trick again :o)

      • Piglove

        01/20/2016 at 1:09 pm

        That is a wonder drug – mom takes it and wonders how she did everything – snorts. We are keeping our hooves, fingers and paws crossed for your mommy brother. Can you give her a hog and snout kiss for me please. XOXO – Bacon

  4. Tails Around the Ranch

    01/20/2016 at 11:27 am

    This is a subject very near and dear to my heart since working for a major dialysis company a few years ago. When I went back to the law firm, we often did blood drives to benefit Children’s Hospital-they always needed donations. Gold star for doing this-it helps sooooo many people! 🌟

    • Piglove

      01/20/2016 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks my friend. I really appreciate that. I wanted to do something that would so many people in different ways. I know when my hub was in a serious accident many years ago, he was treated with plasma therapy as well as one of my brothers who was a burn victim. It has been close to my heart for many years and I’ve wanted to do it and I’m glad I did. Hugs. ❤ June

  5. Nylabluesmum

    01/20/2016 at 2:24 pm

    Yur toe-tally BRAVE Lady June!
    Even LadyMum who was inn Nursin many yearss ago cringed when shee reeded yur post, mew mew mew….. 😉
    **nose kissesss** Dharth Henry xxx

    • Piglove

      01/20/2016 at 2:44 pm

      aaww thanks my nefkitty. I’m proud of mommy too. ((HOGS AND SNOUT KISSESS)) XOXO – Bacon

      • Nylabluesmum

        01/20/2016 at 4:26 pm

        Shee’s a warrior Unccle!!!! 😉

  6. lexitheschnauzer

    01/20/2016 at 3:03 pm

    Mom tried that once and fainted 15 minutes into it. They said, “Thanks, but don’t come back.” BOL!

    • Piglove

      01/20/2016 at 4:28 pm

      Snorts with piggy laughter. Mom has had some ‘close’ calls like that – like this morning when she didn’t eat and went straight to the clinic. XOXO – Bacon

  7. Hailey and Zaphod

    01/20/2016 at 8:58 pm

    Lady is a huge fainter with the blood work, putting in needles etc. She has found herself laying on the floor. She is a wimp.

    • Piglove

      01/21/2016 at 9:57 am

      Snorts! Mom *never* looks when they put the needle in her arm – not at all. And yesterday, they had to stick both arms to find a vein. Mom just lays there, looks away and thinks about other things while grimacing. But mom will tell you, the small price of pain is nothing compared to the people that the plasma help. XOXO – Bacon

  8. pattisj

    01/20/2016 at 11:51 pm

    A former coworker of my husband used to donate plasma, but I didn’t know anything about the process. Thanks for sharing, and donating!

    • Piglove

      01/21/2016 at 10:04 am

      I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the process and what it entails. The actual being hooked up and giving plasma doesn’t take that long – around 30-35 minutes for me. BUT, the actual getting to the donor room is what takes forever – checking in and going through vitals. It’s bad on one hand because you have to wait but think of the upside – there are so many people doing it which is awesome. But I can tell you from seeing things first hand that most people there are just after the money they give you for donating. On average, each person can get between $180-$216 per month (depending on our weight). Each donation will put your payment on a credit card that you receive the first time you go. I use my money for the anipals here at the Hotel Thompson. So, the donation keeps paying it forward to my babies 🙂 ❤ June

  9. The Canadian Cats

    01/22/2016 at 10:03 pm

    This explanation for donating plasma was very interesting and informative my friend.


    • Piglove

      01/25/2016 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks my friend. A lot of people had asked and I thought it would be kind of cool to explain it. It’s definitely a process. XOXO – Bacon

  10. gentlestitches

    01/27/2016 at 1:52 am

    What a great gift to give. ❤

    • Piglove

      01/27/2016 at 10:10 am

      Thank you Auntie Sharon. We agree. XOXO – Bacon


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