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Plasma, an important constituent of blood is loaded with proteins that help in blood clotting, crucial to stop bleeding.

Plasma Donation

Benefits

Plasma donation is an easy way to earn some quick bucks. That is one big advantage for donating plasma, especially for those reeling under financial crisis. However, in my opinion it is a pious and a noble act, as one gets a chance to serve patients suffering from various blood disorders. As aforementioned, plasma is high in proteins, so it is used to manufacture medicines, that can help to treat a number of diseases.

Side Effects

No doubt, donating plasma is a good deed, but the donor may have to face few side effects. Fortunately, any health issues that may occur after donating plasma, are not at all serious and may occur once in a while. They might be bothersome, but last temporarily. They are given below:

Fatigue: As blood is also removed during plasma donation procedure, it is obvious to experience decreased energy levels, that manifest in the form of fatigue. So, after donating plasma, it is recommended to stay away from any strenuous activities.

Nausea: There have been reports of nauseating feeling in people after plasma donation. Besides, being a minor issue this abnormal feeling vanishes within a few hours.

Dizziness: Dizziness is nothing but lightheadedness, similar to vertigo. It is an unusual feeling, where the person feels that the nearby objects are moving around him in a circular fashion. A person experiencing dizziness while standing, feels temporary loss of balance and he may have to immediately sit to overcome this moment of instability. However, this weird sensation of imbalance lasts only for a few seconds. So, while taking out blood or after the procedure is complete, one may feel dizzy for a very short amount of time.

Minor Bruising: The site from where the blood is taken, may appear a bit swollen and bruised. This is normal, as plasma removal involves inserting a needle into the vein and then the blood is collected. Various methods are then used to extract plasma from the blood. The bruised site may show some marks (scars) after healing. Formation of scars is one of the long-term effects of donating plasma that may occur. However, in most cases, scars do not appear after healing of such minor injuries.

Preventing Side Effects

An important constituent of plasma are proteins that play a crucial role in making antibodies to destroy harmful microbes. So, as the procedure involves removing plasma from blood, you should ensure that the diet you follow delivers an adequate amount of proteins. Also, there is a possibility of hemoglobin (red blood cells that contain iron) dipping below the normal range in people donating plasma regularly. This is especially true for women who are going through their periods. Hence, make sure that your daily meals are a good source of dietary iron. Go for lean cuts of chicken, seafood (salmon, tuna), eggs and almonds as they are found to be high in iron and proteins. On the whole, one should essentially follow a healthy diet to keep plasma donation side effects at bay.

As aforementioned, a temporary feeling of vertigo may occur after drawing blood to separate plasma from it. This side effect can be easily avoided by drinking adequate water one day before donating plasma. Sufficient water consumption prior to donating blood decreases the amount of time required to finish the procedure. The lesser the time spent in donating plasma, lower will be the risk of getting lightheadedness after completion of procedure. Also, to avoid dehydration before the procedure, one should stay away from beverages like coffee and tea that increase urinary rate. Alcoholic drinks and even smoking tend to increase the chances of dizziness. Therefore, it is recommended to temporarily stop these habits prior to and post a plasma donating session.

Side Effects of Donating Plasma Regularly

According to experts, plasma cannot be donated more than 2 times in a week. Also, once a person donates his plasma, taking a healthy diet rich in proteins is necessary to reduce the chances of side effects. His next plasma donation can be taken 2 days after his first plasma donation. In other words, a minimum time gap of 48 hours is necessary between donations.

A very important question that people ask; are there any dangers of donating plasma on a regular basis? Some serious side effects may occur, but the probability is very low. Some of them are mention below:
  • Seizures
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Allergic reaction around the punctures site such as skin rash, itching and hives
  • Vomiting
Where to Donate Plasma?

There are a number of collection centers in United States earnestly waiting for plasma donations. However, before donating make sure that the center is certified to collect plasma. All the equipment that will be used in plasma removal procedure must be sterilized and free from bacteria. Also, the surrounding environment of the collection center has to be clean. These are some of the precautions that have to be taken to prevent or considerably minimize occurrence of side effects that may occur after removing plasma.

Eligibility Criteria

A person wanting to donate plasma has to be fit and fine, free from any illness. Body weight is the basic criteria that is used to judge the overall health of the person. Thus, underweight people, less than 18 years, are not allowed to give plasma. Maintaining a healthy weight and a good physique is a prerequisite to donate plasma. Before donating plasma, you may have to undergo blood tests that determine the amount of proteins and hemoglobin in your blood. If they are not in the normal range, you won't be permitted to donate plasma.

Remember, good deeds never go waste. To get something worthwhile, one has to sacrifice something. But hey, you don't have to give your life, to do this pious activity. All you need to do, is donate some amount of blood plasma. Also, occasionally donating plasma is no harm. So, why to worry about those minor side effects, when you are getting a golden opportunity to fill up your account of good deeds.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.