Donating plasma is an excellent and vital act you can perform today to help save a patient’s life, including those with immune disorders, burns, and bleeding disorders. It also allows you to help your community and strengthen its resilience in the face of health challenges.
However, there isn’t much information online about donating plasma and locating plasma donation centers compared to resources on whole blood donations.
If you’re ready to take the next step in helping save lives, this blog shares some helpful tips to help you determine where to donate plasma and what to expect during the process.
Where To Donate Plasma: How To Find a Donation Center Near You
Fortunately, finding a nearby plasma donation center is straightforward:
- Online Search: Use search engines like Google with “plasma donation center near me” to find centers and their details. You may also peruse websites, where you simply need to enter your city or postal code to find your local plasma center.
- Join Social Media and Forums: Joining local online communities and reaching out to experienced donors can give you valuable insights into the best plasma donation centers to visit.
- Ask for Recommendations: Friends, family, or colleagues may know of reputable centers based on personal experience.
- Contact Local Healthcare Facilities: Hospitals and clinics in your area can direct you to local or nearby plasma centers.
What To Expect During the Process
Especially if this is your first time visiting a plasma donation center, you need to take a few more steps before you roll up your sleeves.
Before anything else, you’ll be asked to complete a medical history form. This document asks about your medical background to identify behaviors that might pose a higher risk of bloodborne viruses.
Going through this process diligently ensures the safety of both you and the recipient of your donated plasma.
Once your medical history is reviewed, a staff member will perform several tests. This includes checking your pulse, blood pressure, and body temperature. Staff may also conduct a finger-prick test to check your blood’s protein and hemoglobin levels and ensure you are fit to donate.
You’ll also receive a brief physical exam from a trained medical specialist during your first appointment. This confidential and comprehensive physical examination helps ensure you are in good health and eligible to be a donor.
After successfully passing the screening process, you’re ready for the plasma donation itself. A staff member will guide you to a sanitized donor bed and set you up at a plasmapheresis machine. This specialized medical device collects the plasma from the whole blood and returns the remaining red blood cells and platelets to your body.
You may be given saline or oral fluids to help maintain proper circulation during the donation. The entire process usually takes around an hour, during which you can listen to music or watch videos to pass the time. Your local plasma center’s staff will monitor the process to ensure your comfort and safety.
After completing the donation, it’s best to stay at the plasma center for around 15 minutes. This ensures you’re beginning to rehydrate and are well enough to travel home safely.
The staff will guide you through proper wound care for the injection site and provide other at-home instructions you must follow to recover well.
Does Donating Plasma Hurt?
It’s normal to be concerned about the plasma donation process and whether it’s safe or painless.
To help set your expectations, donating plasma should feel just like doing a regular blood donation. You may feel a stinging sensation from the needle being inserted, but donation center staff will monitor the entire process to ensure you’re comfortable.
It’s also completely safe as long as you donate at a certified plasma donation center. These facilities use cleaned and sterilized equipment throughout the plasma collection process to protect you from bloodborne infections or diseases.
How To Prepare for Your Appointment
Here are some tips to help make your visit as smooth as possible and avoid any problems:
- Get the necessary documents ready.
- Eat healthy. Watch what you eat days before the appointment to prepare your body for donation. Eat a protein- and iron-rich diet and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Sleep well. While people have varying sleep needs, it’s best to get around eight hours of sleep the night before your appointment.
- Drink plenty of water. The loss of blood volume and fluids during the blood donation process can make your blood pressure drop and cause dizziness. The American Red Cross recommends drinking two cups of water before donating blood to help offset this fluid loss.
Take the Next Step Toward Making a Difference in a Patient’s Life
Donating plasma is a remarkable act of generosity that can make a significant impact on the lives of others.
We hope that this article helped you set your expectations as you look for plasma donation centers near you. We also hope it gives you courage and confidence as you approach your appointment.
If you’re looking for plasma donation centers in San Diego in California, Orem in Utah, or Glassboro or Cherry Hill in New Jersey, ABO Plasma has facilities in these locations ready to welcome you. Sign up today to set your appointment and become a donor!