Plasma donation is a process by which the plasma in a person’s blood is separated from the rest of the blood. People who are seeking a little extra money may choose to donate their plasma to a plasma donation clinic, of which there are several dozen in the state of Connecticut.
The Plasma-Donating Process
Plasma donation involves plasmapheresis, a process in which a machine separates plasma from red and white blood cells. Whereas blood donation involves the collecting of plasma, platelets and red blood cells, plasma donors receive their red blood cells and, in some cases, their platelets back at the end of the donation. When you enter a plasma center to donate blood, you can expect to answer some basic questions about your health and medical history. Following this interview, a needle is hooked up to your arm that draws blood into the plasma-sifting machine. The whole process typically takes no longer than an hour, at the end of which you should receive financial compensation.
The Impact of Plasma Donation in Connecticut
Plasma donors contribute significantly to the welfare of those who need plasma in Connecticut. Each year, roughly 165,000 red blood cells are given in blood transfusions, and 50,000 plasma units are donated in plasma centers in the state. Together, these contributions help 300,000 people annually, as the time of publication, providing assistance for those suffering from bleeding and blood-clotting disorders, immunodeficiency, autoimmune disorders and other traumas.
Receiving Money for Plasma Donations
You can give plasma, provided that you have been a donor at least once in the previous 24 months and weigh more than 110 pounds. Typically, plasma donors are paid $20 for their first visit to the center and $45 for subsequent visits, at the time of publication. Unlike blood donation, which can only take place once every 12 weeks, plasma donors can donate plasma every two weeks. Consequently, over time, these payments can accumulate into a substantial sum of money. In a single four-month period, a person might make upwards of $1,100.
Locating Plasma Centers in Connecticut
Saint Francis Care is a series of medical centers offering plasma donation, with branches in central and northern Connecticut, including Windsor, Enfield and East Hartford. Survival Insight’s website has a directory listing plasma donation sites at medical centers within the Hartford area, including Jewish Family Services, Wheeler Clinic, Hartford Hospital and several other hospitals.
Boze Herrington is a writer and blogger who lives in Kansas City, Mo. His work has been featured in Cracked and "The Atlantic."