When donating plasma, your blood is drawn from you so the plasma can be removed from it. Then, your blood, sans the plasma, is transfused back to your body. The pain involved in the procedure is often minimal and is similar to that of blood donation. Now, are you planning to try to donate plasma? Here are the pros and cons that you should know first.
List of Pros of Donating Plasma
1. It lets you help other people in need.
Natural disasters can bring about health conditions, thus the requirement of plasma for the affected. Such cases are life-threatening, and donated plasma can help with saving lives. Also, donated plasma is usually given to those who had organ transplants and are suffering from leukemia, of which procedures and treatments would be very difficult or ineffective without plasma.
2. It is safe.
Depending on your current health conditions, you may or may not be qualified to donate plasma, especially when you have high blood pressure or impaired vital signs. This is to protect not only yourself, but also the one who would be receiving the plasma.
3. It reduces risk to serious health conditions.
Though it is still not fully understood by researchers, people who are donating plasma on a regular basis have lowered risk of developing health conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, later in life.
4. It provides you extra income when needed.
While blood donations are not paid, plasma donations are. If you meet the criteria to donate plasma, then you can receive hundreds of dollars as donor. Other forms of compensation can receive are gift cards, vouchers and food certificates that have associated cash value.
List of Cons of Donating Plasma
1. It can be scary or uncomfortable.
As a first-timer, donating plasma requires you to answer a questionnaire having very personal questions, like your sexual history. Also, the procedure is done only when you are fully hydrated, so you will be asked to drink glasses of water before donating.
2. It can be tiring for your body.
Though donating plasma is safe, it can wear your body out over a period of time. You can have collapsed veins or take longer to find veins for donation, especially when you do it regularly. This is why donation centers do not allow you to leave unless you are physically fit.
3. It decreases calcium stores.
When separating the plasma from blood, centers make use of anti-coagulants, which make the process easier and faster. However, these anti-coagulants also remove calcium from the blood, and if this calcium is not replaced before the blood is returned to the body, there will be health effects on the donors.
4. It can have long-term negative health effects.
You can avoid this problem if you donate sometimes, but if you do it regularly, you can incur some damage. In fact, research found that it causes a 10% decrease in the production levels of antibodies in the human body.
Donating plasma is a choice that must not be taken lightly. There are certain benefits to it, but there are also some risks that you need to consider. By assessing all its pros and cons, you can decide properly if it is good for you or not.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.