Patients across the United States depend on plasma protein therapies to treat rare and sometimes chronic diseases. You may donate plasma at one of the hundreds of licensed and certified plasma collection centers nationwide.
In most cases, you can give plasma after getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of the donation! Ask your donation center for more information.
How to Give Plasma
While each center has a specific process, it’s a good idea to do these things before you donate plasma. Ask the donation center if they want you to do anything else to prepare for your visit.
Before Your Donation
- Find a plasma donation center by searching online for “plasma donation near me” or on the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) website.
- Contact your local center to find out which experiences, health conditions, or medications may temporarily or permanently prevent you from donating plasma at this donation center.
- Prepare for your appointment by getting plenty of rest, especially the day night before you donate, drinking plenty of water or other caffeine-free beverage 2-3 hours before your plasma donation appointment, and eating a healthy, low-fat meal before you donate. You should avoid nicotine and alcohol before you donate.
During Your Visit
- When you donate, you will be asked to provide documentation and need to pass medical exams, screening, and testing before you become eligible to donate. It’s a good idea to check with the specific donation facility to learn the specific requirements for donation ahead of time.
- Once you meet the eligibility requirements of the donation facility, a technician will get you ready to donate and make you comfortable.
- Your blood will be drawn, and the plasma will be separated from your blood by a machine that collects plasma.
- The other parts of your blood, such as the red blood cells, are returned to your body.
After Your Donation
- Keep your bandage on for the next several hours and keep this area clean by washing with soap and water after you take it off.
- The first donation can take about 2 hours, and maybe a little more time. Return visits can take about 90 minutes and may be quicker. Generally, donors are compensated for their time.
- Please consider donating plasma again! New donors must donate plasma within 6 months before a donation can be used. You can donate plasma every two days, and no more than twice in a 7-day period.
General Eligibility Requirements
Donor eligibility varies. Check with the facility to determine their specific requirements, but generally plasma donors should:
- Be 18 years of age or older,
- Weigh at least 110 pounds,
- Pass a medical exam and complete an extensive medical screening, including testing negative for hepatitis and HIV,
- Not have gotten a tattoo or piercing within the last 4 months, and
- Follow a recommended diet.
Potential Side Effects
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates plasma collection in the United States. For most people, donating plasma does not cause any side effects, but some donors can experience fatigue, bruising, bleeding, or dehydration. Additionally, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded. While not typical, fainting can also occur. It’s rare, but more serious infections or reactions can occur, which can be treated.
If you experience severe symptoms, contact a doctor immediately. If you experience general side effects, it can help to rest, drink more water, and eat more iron-rich foods. For dizziness or fainting, lie down or sit with your head between your knees. For bleeding, raise your arm, apply pressure, then place a bandage over the area for several hours.
Learn about blood donation too!
Donating blood one-time can help save the lives of up to three people. Find out more
Have questions about donating plasma? Find answers here: