blood plasma donation pay

Donating Blood Plasma for Money {Your Donation Questions Answered}

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This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.

Donating blood plasma is a great way to earn extra cash to pay off debt or build your emergency fund.

I’ve had some experience with donating plasma for money at my local Octapharma Plasma donor center, and as scary as it might sound, it’s really not a bad side hustle.

Blood plasma donation is a great way to pay off debt or save for an emergency fund.

Whatever your needs are, donating blood plasma may be the easiest way for you to make money fast.


Other Ways to Earn Cash (Aside from Donating Plasma)

Donating Blood Plasma for Money



What is Blood Plasma? And What’s the Difference Between Plasma and Blood?



Blood plasma is the liquid component of blood, in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended.

It constitutes about 55% of the blood’s volume and consists mostly of water that contains dissolved salts (electrolytes) and proteins.

The major protein in plasma is albumin.

The primary purpose of plasma is to transport nutrients, hormones, and proteins to the parts of the body that need it.

Cells also deposit their waste products into the plasma. The plasma, in turn, helps remove this waste from the body.

Blood plasma donation also ushers the movement of all the elements of blood through the circulatory system.


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Donating Blood Plasma for Money {What to Expect your First Visit}

Your first visit can take up to 2 hours because it includes a health screening and tests to make sure you can donate plasma.

You’ll need to bring identification including your driver’s license, your social security card (a copy won’t work), and proof of address so the center can reach you by mail for up to eight weeks post-donation.

After that, each visit takes less time – about an hour to an hour and a half. I’ve actually gotten in and out of Octapharma Plasma in 45 minutes on several occasions.

It’s a matter of choosing the best time of day (earlier) before peak busy times.

You’ll enter the blood plasma donation center and after entering your information into a computer screen, the staff member assisting you will hand you a binder or booklet with information about the process including the process, risk factors, and potential side effects.

After you’ve read the entire binder, the staff will give you access to a video that explains the entire process.

After watching the video, you’ll be directed to a cubicle where a technician will do a short health screening just to check your red blood cell count (the dreaded finger prick), protein, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and weight.



What Happens During the Blood Plasma Donation Exam?


During the blood plasma donation exam, you’ll be moved to an exam room where a staff member (or two if you prefer) will ask several questions about your medical history and any tattoos, brandings, and/or piercings you have currently or have gotten in the past 12 months.

If you’ve had body art or piercings in the past 12 months, you’ll be deferred (unable to donate) for a full year from the date of your last procedure.

They’ll also ask about any past surgeries and medications you’re currently taking.

Don’t get freaked out when they ask you to take off your shoes and socks.

They’ll want to check between your fingers and toes for needle marks to ensure you haven’t been shooting up.

Fact: If you’re an illegal drug user, including steroids or human growth hormone, you won’t be able to donate. Staff employees are trained to know the signs, and you won’t be able to hide it.

Once you’ve passed the prescreening and exam, you’ll be able to make your first donation!

Blood Plasma Donation Process: Does it Hurt?


At my local center (Octapharma Plasma Springfield IL), you follow the arrow and seat yourself.

Staff will ask for your name and donor number (usually the last 4 digits of your social security number).

They clean the injection site with iodine, and they insert a needle for the plasmapheresis process (extracting your blood, separating the plasma, and putting your blood back into your body).

The needle feels exactly like an IV. It only hurts if they can’t get a vein, blow a vein, or you wiggle around a lot during the process.

I suggest taking one of these stress balls to squeeze so that your flow isn’t interrupted and you’re able to complete the process faster.

You have to constantly pump, or squeeze, your hand while the machine is extracting blood. You might also want to pick up one of this week’s Amazon Best Sellers to keep you busy since you can’t use your phone while donating.



How Often Can You Donate Plasma?


Now that you know you can make up to $75 per donation, you’re probably wondering how often can you donate plasma?

First off, check with your doctor to make sure you’re a healthy candidate for donating blood plasma. And if you’re looking for an affordable alternative to health insurance, check out my review of Christian Healthcare Ministries.

You’re only allowed to donate plasma twice in any seven day period, with 48 hours of rest in between donations.

So if you plan your first donation for Tuesday, you won’t be able to donate again until Thursday.

The following week, you won’t be able to donate again until Tuesday since your first donation was on Tuesday.

Staff will tell you it is absolutely vital that you come for your second donation.

Even if you absolutely hated the first experience, you really need to show up and donate at least one more time the first week so that they can actually use the plasma you donated the first visit. Otherwise, it’ll have to be destroyed.

From Octapharma Plasma’s website: “It’s important to come back for your second visit. The first time you donate plasma we test your donation sample to make sure it’s safe to use in life-saving medicines.

We can’t use your first plasma donation until after you make your second one, so don’t forget to come back and donate again 2 to 14 days after your first visit.”

If you are unsure about your health, have a look at They have lots of great information about keeping your body as healthy as possible.


How Much Do You Get Paid to Donate Plasma?



There are a couple of different variables to consider when determining how much you get paid donating plasma.

You have to weigh at least 110 pounds to be eligible for plasma donation.

Different blood plasma donation companies pay different amounts, so I can only share my experience with Octapharma.

Every month, Octapharma Plasma has a New Donor Promotion in which Octapharma Plasma pays $50 each donation for the first five visits (regardless of weight).

So if you donate twice per week, you will earn $250 after just 2.5 weeks! That’s enough to feed my family of five for two weeks!

Related: How to Save Money on Groceries (without Coupons)

After your New Donor bonus has been earned, you’ll be paid on a scale per donation based on weight.

If you weigh less than 150 pounds, my local Springfield IL Octapharma Plasma center pays $20 per donation ($40 per week plus bonus potential).

If you weigh 150+ pounds, you’ll earn more ($20 the first donation of the week, and $45 the second donation if you weigh under 175 pounds).

Plasma pay varies based on location and weight.


April WEEKLY Frequency Bonus From Octapharma Plasma’s website:


This April (2018) Octapharma Plasma donors in my area are eligible for a BONUS on their 2nd donation of each week!

  • Mon. 4/2 – Sun. 4/8 – $20+
  • Mon. 4/9 – Sun. 4/15 – $20+
  • Mon. 4/16 – Sun. 4/22 – $10+
  • Mon. 4/23 – Sun. 4/29 – $10+

Donate 2x/week and earn $60-$75 TOTAL* in April bonus payments.

The bonus is automatically applied to your Octapharma Plasma prepaid card. Date range: April 01, 2018 – April 30, 2018


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  1. I’d be lying if I said I never thought about doing this! I don’t usually get dizzy when giving blood so it seems like I could do it! Haha

    1. You should totally try it! It’s a bit more draining than a regular blood donation, but totally worth it (depending on your needs and goals). 🙂

  2. Living in Indonesia, I’m not quite familiar with donating blood plasma, but I once donated my blood and something quite bad happened as I passed out after the procedure. It was a bit traumatic so I never did it again after the incident. Here, we don’t get paid for donating it as we do it voluntarily. Although, yeah, we’ve got some free meals for lunch. 🙂

    1. That can happen if you 1. get anxiety over needles and blood. 2. haven’t eaten or drank enough for the day.

      Blood plasma is different than regular blood donations, and if you had an experience like that, I probably wouldn’t recommend it!

  3. I would be totally be lying if I said I never thought about this. Interesting to see how your experience was with the location you visited.

    1. Everyone should try it at least once…well, twice because if you only go once, they can’t use your plasma you’ve donated. 😛

  4. I don’t think it’s so much possible here in Poland. We can get maybe a bar of chocolate or coffee for donating our blood plasma. I haven’t thought about that as a business, but after all it may help both sides. 🙂

    1. Yes, if you can use your blood plasma for life-saving medicines and you can make a few extra bucks, why not?! 🙂

  5. I always wanted to donate blood…but somehow couldn’t do it because of health reasons. I guess i will do it soon…Thanks for sharing the post to remind me!!

    1. Yes ma’am! You’re welcome! Blood plasma is a bit different than regular blood donation so make sure you read up on the differences so you know what to expect 🙂

    1. Very cool! I think it’s a great way to give back, and I also love that we are able to supplement our income as well 🙂 I know healthcare in general in the US is a disaster compared to other countries.

      1. Our health care is a disaster? Then tell me why the Wealthy from countries with socialized health care come here for care.

        1. It makes no sense to me, but I can prove that our healthcare is a disaster since the inception of the ACA. We used to have health insurance premiums that were affordable. We used to have terms that were manageable (lower deductibles, less out of pocket). Since the inception of ACA, premiums have risen drastically and out of pocket expenses (including prescription coverage) is astronomical compared to pre-ACA.

          We personally use Christian Healthcare Ministries (medical cost sharing) instead of health insurance, and we pay $135 for my family of five per month. My son has accumulated over $40,000 in doctor and hospital bills for a broken wrist. Since we are considered “cash pay” patients, our hospital gives us a 70% discount (that we would not have been able to negotiate if we had insurance), and CHM will share all costs of the bills.

          Now you tell me how our healthcare system isn’t broken. I WISH that there WAS affordable healthcare (flat prices and no insurance) for all, including those with pre-existing conditions. But for now, it’s a mess.

          I can’t answer your question as to why wealthy folks from other countries choose to come to the States. But I am 100% anti-socialized healthcare as well. If hospitals and providers are able to give a 70% discount for cash pay, why can’t they just price fair from the beginning? Those are my thoughts anyway. Hope I explained it a little better. 🙂

        2. I also want to address the fact that I’m not saying our health care providers lack in quality.

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  7. Vicki Miller

    I would love to do this but need more info on where I could go to donate. I love in Hamilton Alabama. I also need the extra money and wouldn’t mind doing this on a regular basis if possible and can. It would also help others and I love to do that.

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