Donating blood doesn’t pay, but donating plasma—the part of blood used to treat hemophiliacs and burn victims—does. See if you qualify.
: Before donating plasma, talk to your doctor about any health risks.
Step 1: Check qualification Make sure you are qualified to donate. You must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.
Step 2: Find plasma center Do an Internet search to find a plasma-for-money center near you. Many centers listed in directories are located in large cities.
Step 3: Answer personal questions On your first visit, you’ll need to complete a questionnaire concerning your medical history, sex habits, drug use, and so on. Some centers ask you to watch a video that explains the behaviors that could taint your blood.
TIP: Expect your first visit to last about three hours. Subsequent donations take just an hour.
Step 4: Get a physical You will be given a nominal physical examination. Expect your finger to be pricked for a quick blood test, your pulse to be checked, and your temperature to be taken.
TIP: Don’t bother showing up if you have tattoos and piercings and can’t prove in writing that they were administered in a sterile setting.
Step 5: Have blood drawn Relax in an easy chair as blood is drawn from your arm, the plasma is extracted, and the blood is returned to your body through the same needle. This process, called plasmapheresis, takes about 45 minutes.
Step 6: Get paid That’s it! Collect your fee ($20 to $30) and make an appointment to donate again. How often you may donate depends on the center. Some let you come in 48 hours later; others limit donations to once a month.
FACT: An estimated one in three people will need a blood product at some time during their life.