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Anyone Have Experience Donating Blood Plasma

Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,639 Member Member Posts: 1,639 Member
I've given blood on a regular basis. The Red Cross is looking for people who have recovered from Covid to donate convalescent plasma for use in treatment. Anyone have any experience good or bad with a plasma donation?

Also if you have done the convalescent plasma it says you should be "fully recovered" from covid for 2 weeks before you donate. My quarantine period ended 3 weeks ago. I "think" I'm fully recovered but still have a bit of headache and fatigue occasionally.


Probably need to call the Red Cross.

Replies

  • EliseTK1EliseTK1 Member Posts: 346 Member Member Posts: 346 Member
    Yes, I give blood regularly and also recently gave platelets/plasma. I felt way better after because I’m usually a little tired and light headed after giving whole blood. However they used both arms and it took hours, so not a comfortable experience to not be allowed to use your hands for that long. I also got really cold. My hubby gave as well and had an issue with hypocalcemia which is very common. They gave him Tums to chew on which helped.

    If you can give, do it. So many people need it. My hubby is going to do it again because they can use one arm for him. My veins aren’t so great, so I’ll stick to whole blood.
  • PsychgrrlPsychgrrl Member Posts: 3,023 Member Member Posts: 3,023 Member
    I have donated plasma before, but not for COVID.

    In my experience, the needles are bigger (it was explained to me the plasma cells are bigger and they don’t want them to break in transit. They pull it out, separate the plasma from the blood in a machine and then put the blood back into your other arm. The needle that pulls out the blood/plasma is (a little) bigger, the one that returns the blood is regular donation size. The process takes longer overall. I found it perfectly comfortable, once the “bigger” needle was in. I don’t have the best veins and even drawing blood for labs with the tiniest needle can be challenging.

    Make sure you’re well hydrated beforehand.
  • oakeroaker Member Posts: 125 Member Member Posts: 125 Member
    I have been regularly donating plasma for almost 3 years. When the clinic isn’t busy, I’m in and out in about an hour. Definitely drink a lot of water the day before and day of donating. You also have to eat clean that day....no greasy foods. I had some troubles here and there with hitting the veins. Several bruisings, double pokes, low protein etc. But overall, a good experience and some extra cash to take Caribbean vacations lol.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 24,817 Member Member, Premium Posts: 24,817 Member
    I gave plasma all the time in college. If you've given blood, it's pretty much like that, it just takes longer. I have heard the needles are bigger for plasma. If so, it's not in a way that I was able to tell. Where I gave, the chairs were comfortable and it was easy to bring a book and just tune out.

    People above mentioned hydration. I agree -- I've found that my veins are much easier to get to when I'm well hydrated.
  • yayamom3yayamom3 Member Posts: 913 Member Member Posts: 913 Member
    I used to give plasma weekly. It was no big deal, and as a busy parent, it was an hour of quiet time to read a book. I have naturally low blood pressure and can be low on iron, so I always had to pay attention to those so I didn't get turned away.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,703 Member Member Posts: 38,703 Member
    Psychgrrl wrote: »
    I have donated plasma before, but not for COVID.

    In my experience, the needles are bigger (it was explained to me the plasma cells are bigger and they don’t want them to break in transit. They pull it out, separate the plasma from the blood in a machine and then put the blood back into your other arm. The needle that pulls out the blood/plasma is (a little) bigger, the one that returns the blood is regular donation size. The process takes longer overall. I found it perfectly comfortable, once the “bigger” needle was in. I don’t have the best veins and even drawing blood for labs with the tiniest needle can be challenging.

    Make sure you’re well hydrated beforehand.

    Yup, my experience also. I used to do it in college for extra $$. As I recall, I'd get $20 per donation.
  • srk369srk369 Member Posts: 263 Member Member Posts: 263 Member
    I echo being hydrated. When I was plasma only, I had no issues. The 1 time I did plasma and platelets, I fainted during the platelet time that happens at the very end. I've heard that that isn't uncommon.

    Just as an aside...I was scheduled to donate last week during the fiasco in Texas and had to reschedule, so I'm sure they are really in need down here...I donate on Friday!
  • srk369srk369 Member Posts: 263 Member Member Posts: 263 Member
    Oh, and I always eat to maintenance on blood/plasma donation days...I don't worry about a deficit.
  • Theo166Theo166 Member, Premium Posts: 2,423 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,423 Member
    I gave plasma up to Jan, about 8 months after I had COVID. Since they haven't called me back, I'm assuming my anti-bodies finally dropped below their limit.

    All but my last donation were uneventful, on the machine for 45 minutes each donation. During my last visit the attendant didn't stick me correctly (I think) and the pressure alarms went off before we were finished.

    I didn't donate during dieting, so no advice on that angle.
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