Plasma Donation FAQ

Deciding whether to donate plasma is a big decision, and it can come with a lot of questions.

We’ve collected our plasma donation FAQ below, but if you need additional help, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Plasma Overview

Plasma is a gold-colored liquid that makes up a little more than half of your blood. It supports proper body function, helps move essential nutrients through your body, and so much more. Learn more about plasma.

Right now, creating synthetic plasma in a lab is not possible. Without plasma and platelet donors like you, researchers, scientists, and physicians could not provide life-changing therapies to those who need them most. That’s also why we pay our donors.

Donating plasma is a bit different from donating whole blood. When you donate whole blood, it goes directly into a collection bag and is later processed in a lab. When you donate plasma, however, the blood drawn from your arm goes through a special machine that separates the red blood cells from the plasma and platelets.

Donating plasma shouldn’t hurt and should feel like a whole blood donation (or a blood draw at your doctor’s office). Initially, you may feel a light stinging sensation when the needle is inserted, but it should subside quickly. Our staff is dedicated to ensuring your entire plasma donation experience is safe, comfortable, and positive.

Plasmapheresis removes whole blood from a donor through an IV, separates the components (plasma, platelets, and red blood cells) in a special machine, sends the gold-colored plasma to a collection bag, and returns the red blood cells to the donor.

Plasma donations take longer than a typical blood donation. First-time donors should plan to be at PlasmaSource for about 2 hours. Return donors should plan to be at PlasmaSource for 1-1.5 hours for each donation. Learn more about what to expect during a plasma donation.

Your plasma regenerates quickly, often within 48 hours (if you stay hydrated). Because of this, you can safely donate twice in seven days (but not more than once in 48 hours).

After you donate plasma, it’s important to eat foods rich in protein, iron, and electrolytes and to drink plenty of water to help your body recover more quickly and regenerate and replenish the lost plasma.

All PlasmaSource donors must live within a 20-mile radius of a PlasmaSource donation center.

Donation Safety and Eligibility

Cannabis does not disqualify you from donating plasma. However, we encourage you to refrain from smoking weed at least 12 hours before your plasma donation appointment. This ensures you are of sound mind and can consent to the appointment.

Yes, you can donate plasma if more than four months have passed since you had a new tattoo, permanent make-up, microblading, piercing, or acupuncture.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and lower your blood sugar with diet, medication, or insulin, you might still be able to donate. Please check with your primary care doctor to make sure it is safe for you to donate plasma before scheduling an appointment.

You are eligible to donate plasma if you do not have any active lesions. You are also eligible if you take preventative antiviral medications.

Yes, you can donate plasma if you have high blood pressure. However, your blood pressure must be within a healthy range at the time of your appointment (e.g., between 180/100 mm Hg and 90/50 mm Hg). If you currently take medication to manage your high blood pressure, you are also eligible to donate if your blood pressure is within a healthy range at the time of your appointment.

You may be ineligible to donate plasma if you take antiplatelets, anticoagulants, or medications that can harm an unborn baby. Please check with your primary care doctor if you are unsure whether your medications would disqualify you from donating plasma.

If you take antibiotics, you must wait 24 hours after your last dose before you are eligible to donate plasma.

According to the FDA, pregnant people are ineligible to donate plasma. There is inadequate research on how donating plasma might affect a growing fetus. Pregnant people also have heightened levels of antigens in their blood that, if donated, could pose a serious risk of complications for the recipient.

According to the FDA, pregnant people are ineligible to donate plasma. Plasma donation exposes people to a variety of substances, including chemicals, proteins, and antigens, which can potentially cause an allergic reaction or a viral infection. Donating plasma can also reduce the blood volume in the body, which may lead to anemia or even miscarriage.

Yes, you can donate plasma while breastfeeding, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Ensuring you are healthy, well-nourished, and hydrated before your appointment is important. It’s also important to wait until your baby is at least six months old before donating plasma to ensure your body has had adequate time to recover from childbirth and adjust to breastfeeding.

Yes, it is typically safe to plasma while menstruating. Please check with your primary care physician or OB-GYN for specific questions or concerns.

Regular plasma donation is generally considered safe, does not have long-term side effects, and is well-tolerated by most individuals. It is important to note that Plasma donation involves the removal of a component of your blood, making iron deficiency possible over time. Plasma donors are encouraged to eat a regular diet of iron-, protein-, and electrolyte-rich foods to avoid an iron deficiency or anemia.

Becoming a Donor

If you would like to donate plasma, please schedule an appointment with PlasmaSource. Our donation center is conveniently located in Aurora, IL.

To be eligible to donate plasma, you much be between 18 and 69 years of age. See our complete plasma donation requirements.

Plasma cannot be recreated in a lab. Many people rely on plasma-derived therapies to treat their conditions or diseases. Plasma and platelets also treat rare and inherited chronic conditions, like immune deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, and hemophilia.

This is a safety precaution. FDA regulations require all plasma donation centers to conduct two separate tests on a person’s plasma to ensure it is safe to share with others.

Every time you donate plasma and platelets, you will receive a health screening to ensure you are eligible to donate and in good health. This screening includes giving a blood sample and checking your vitals (e.g., blood pressure, pulse, and temperature).

First-time PlasmaSource donors must bring a government-issued photo ID, proof of address, proof of social security, know your account information to receive your preferred digital payment, and a list of prescriptions or over-the-counter (OTC) medications taken regularly. 

Donating plasma should feel the same as a whole blood donation. The PlasmaSource team prioritizes donor comfort during the donation process. However, you may feel a brief stinging sensation when the needle for the IV is inserted.

General Plasma Donation FAQ

Plasma donors should eat a healthy, iron-rich, and protein-rich meal approximately three hours before their appointment. They should also avoid foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats (e.g., hamburgers, potato chips, and pizza) beginning the night before their appointment. Donors should also drink 12-24 ounces of water (or a sugar-free sports drink) about 30-60 minutes before their appointment. Learn how to prepare for your plasma donation.

Donating plasma does not cause any side effects for most people. However, some may experience mild to moderate fatigue or dizziness.

Donating plasma doesn’t carry any calories. However, your body is estimated to lose between 450-650 calories per plasma donation, depending on how much you can donate.

PlasmaSource recommends avoiding vigorous exercise for 12 hours after donation.

PlasmaSource recommends avoiding driving for up to 30 minutes following your plasma donation.

It is best to avoid alcohol 24 hours prior to and after donation.

Getting Paid

After each donation, donors will access a link to authorize the receipt of your payment through various digital options.

First-time donations pay $50. Second donation pay $50 with a $50 bonus for becoming a qualified donor. The following donations pay $60 each with an additional $200 on your 8th donation. Donors that schedule a series of donations can earn as much as $710 in two months. To view the payment chart, click here.

Yes! When you donate plasma and platelets with PlasmaSource, you can donate your payment to a nonprofit, charity, or cause of your choice. 

Plasma and platelets regenerate quickly, often within 48 hours, with proper hydration. Approved donors can donate twice in seven days—as long as 48 hours have passed between donations. Learn more about our requirements for return visits.

Yes, plasma donations are considered taxable income, meaning you must pay taxes on any income you earn by donating your plasma. However, PlasmaSource is not required to issue IRS 1099 forms to their donors.

PlasmaSource Approach, Use, Partners

Our mission is to support the unique needs of our donors, help those in need, and address the growing needs of plasma and platelet donations for emergency medical situations, pharmaceutical development, and research and development for disease prevention.

Once your plasma and platelet donation has been safely collected, processed, and tested at PlasmaSource, it is transported to our community partners. They use your donations to help those with life-threatening conditions, disorders, and illnesses live healthier lives.

PlasmaSource has partnered with several top-tier hospitals and healthcare providers across Illinois, allowing us to deliver your plasma and platelet donation safely and quickly.

Regulatory Requirements

PlasmaSource follows all CDC safety protocols, FDA regulations, IQPP standards, and IDPH requirements. Learn how we ensure PlasmaSource meets the highest safety standards for our donors.

Your health and safety are our top priorities. At PlasmaSource, we follow strict health and safety protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn how we ensure donor safety.

If you are in good health and meet the PlasmaSource plasma donation requirements, we invite you to schedule your first donation appointment.

Those disqualified from donating are known as deferred donors. A deferral may be applied at any point during the collection and testing process. Reasons may include illness, insufficient time between donations, recent travel, etc.

Some deferrals are temporary and may be in effect for a specified period. Other deferrals are considered permanent and will disqualify a donor indefinitely.

Schedule a donation today, earn money, and make a positive impact in your community.

Ready to Get Started?

Are you interested in becoming a plasma and platelet donor? Contact our our plasma donation center in Aurora, IL to schedule an appointment today.