When you’re looking for ways to make some extra money, sometimes the simple solutions are best.
Everyone has a unique life situation and different goals for their side hustle. Some people prefer a side hustle that has the potential to replace their full-time job. Others are just looking for a way to quickly make a little extra money.
If you’re just looking for some extra money that’s easy to earn, donating plasma can be a great option. You’re not going to get rich doing it, but a few hundred extra dollars per month will make a huge difference if you’re paying off debt or saving for retirement.
Personal finance blogger Melissa Blevins and her husband both used this as a side hustle to make extra money for paying off debt and she spoke with me about her experience (she donated twice per week for a few months). I was able to speak to Melissa about her experience with this side hustle.
If you’re looking for a simple way to make some extra money and you would like to get paid to donate plasma this information should help you to decide if it’s for you.
What is Plasma Used For?
Blood plasma can be used in several different ways to save lives and treat diseases. It may be used for clotting to help those with bleeding disorders. Another use is for Immunoglobulin or IVIG, which is used to treat improperly functioning immune systems. Plasma can also be used to treat burns, rabies, and tetanus. It can even be used with dialysis patients and those who’ve had transplants. (Source)
Does it Hurt to Donate Plasma?
One of the common questions is related to pain or physical discomfort. There is a needle involved, as well as a finger prick. For most people, there is some discomfort, but it’s minimal.
Melissa pointed out a few key differences between donating blood and donating plasma. “1) The plasmapheresis needle is much larger than the whole blood donation needle. 2) During blood plasma donation, blood cells are returned to your body once the plasma has been separated and the very last rotation includes a saline return. 3) It’s a longer process, including about 4-5 rotations of draw, return, rest, taking approximately 30-45 minutes.”
What is the Physical Impact of Donating Plasma?
If you’ve ever donated blood, you know that it can make you a little lightheaded or dizzy after the donation. The workers are usually quick to encourage you to sit down for a few minutes.
When I asked Melissa about the physical impact of donating plasma she said that she did experience a temporary decrease in energy. She said, “My husband also donated less frequently than I did, and he didn’t see the major loss of energy. I also have a single scar on each arm from the needles. It doesn’t look like needle tracks, but I notice them.”
Plasma Donation Requirements
There are some requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to be able to donate plasma. CSL Plasma is one of the leaders in the industry and their requirements are:
- You must be 18 or older and in good health
- You must weigh at least 110 pounds
- You cannot have had any new tattoos or piercings within the past 12 months
- You must have valid identification and a permanent address
The requirements for donating to other companies are very similar.
Melissa pointed out, “You cannot be taking certain medications since the plasma is used to create life-saving medications and it can taint the sample. You also can’t be an active drug user or steroid user. They will check between your toes at the first appointment for needle marks.”
Your first donation will involve a medical screening and they’ll ask some questions about your medical history.
How Often Can You Donate Plasma?
FDA regulations state that you can donate once in a two-day period and not more than twice in a seven day period. That means that you can donate twice per week, but it can’t be back-to-back days.
Obviously, if you want to maximize your income with this method, donating twice per week is the way to go. But you can also just donate once per week and still make some extra cash with an easy weekend job.
How Long Does it Take?
Donating plasma is a longer process than a blood donation. The first appointment will be longer than the others do to additional screening and processes that you go through as a new donor. Many donors find that the appointments become quicker the longer you do it.
Melissa said, “The first appointment took the longest…about two hours. Depending on how busy the center was, I was usually only there for about an hour from the moment I checked in and answered the questionnaire, completed the physical (where they checked my blood pressure, weight, and pricked my finger to check protein), to being hooked up on the machine to donate plasma.”
How Much Do You Get Paid to Donate Plasma?
The prices that you are paid will be determined by the company or lab that you use. Sometimes that have different promos or bonuses for things like first-time donors or repeat donors.
Melissa donated at Octapharma. Their payment information is listed here. Melissa said, “I was paid based on weight. I’m not shy about my weight, so I’ll just share that in between training sessions (depending on my fitness goals), I’ve weighed as little as 135 and as high as 155. When I weighed over 150, I was paid $40 per session. When I weighed under 150 pounds, I was paid $20 per session. They also reward you for multiple donations in a calendar month, so I was able to earn bonuses. Total income per month was close to $400 when I donated twice a week every single week of the month.”
CSL Plasma also says that donors can make up to $400 per month. You can see their promotions page here.
Both Octapharma and CSL Plasma pay donors via a reloadable debit card.