Convalescent plasma donation refers to plasma extracted from the blood of people who have recovered from an infection, like COVID-19. This plasma contains antibodies that help them fight off and recover from the disease.
The antibodies can potentially help treat others infected with the same illness. Many people wonder if they can get paid for donating convalescent plasma. Here is a detailed look at convalescent plasma donation and compensation.
Can You Get Paid For Donating Plasma?
In most cases, you cannot get directly paid for donating plasma. The U.S. federal law prohibits compensating blood and plasma donors except in some specific circumstances. However, plasma collection centres may offer compensation for your time and inconvenience involved in the donation process.
Federal Law On Plasma Donation Compensation
The National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984 bans the sale and purchase of human organs and tissues, including blood, bone marrow, and plasma. However, NOTA permits “reasonable payments” to donors for their time and inconvenience.
Based on NOTA, the American Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers, AABB, and other organizations formed the Alliance for Ethical Donation Practices. They defined reasonable payments as no more than $75 per donation and no more than $400 per month.
So legally, plasma centers cannot directly pay you for your plasma. But they can compensate you up to the defined limit for your time spent donating.
How Plasma Donation Centers Provide Compensation
Plasma donation centres attract donors by offering compensation for time and inconvenience. Here are some common ways plasma centres provide incentives:
- Tiered payment system: Payment increases with the number of donations. For example, you may get $50 for the first 5 donations, $60 for the next 5, and so on.
- Coupons: Centres may offer coupons and gift cards redeemable at local restaurants or stores.
- Bonus payments: Occasional bonus amounts may be offered, like $10 extra on your birthday or for referrals.
- Lottery drawings: Your donation count may enter you into raffles and prize drawings.
So while direct payment for plasma is illegal, donors can earn up to $400 per month through these compensation programs.
How Much Do Plasma Donation Centers Pay?
Exact payment rates vary by plasma centre, location, and donation frequency. On average, first-time donors can count on to get around $50 in step with a donation. ordinary, lengthy-time period donors may also get between $ 60-$ one hundred in keeping with consultation.
Some of the major plasma collection networks like CSL Plasma, BioLife Plasma Services, and Octapharma Plasma have published compensation rates. Here are some examples:
- CSL Plasma: $100 per donation for regular donors on an automated donation machine. First donations may get $50.
- BioLife Plasma: $110 for the first month, up to $165 for the 5th month for regular twice-weekly donors.
- Octapharma Plasma: Up to $500 per month, paid on an earnings card. First visits may get a $50 sign-on bonus.
Along with the per-donation amounts, you can earn bonuses through referral programs and other incentives that further increase your compensation.
Can You Get Paid For Donating Convalescent Plasma?
The COVID-19 pandemic created high demand for convalescent plasma from recovered patients. This led to questions about paying for COVID-19 plasma donations.
The NOTA law and industry guidelines apply equally to regular and convalescent plasma donations. So donors cannot get directly paid for providing COVID-19 plasma.
However, COVID plasma donors can still earn compensation through time and inconvenience allowances just like routine plasma donations. Plasma centres implemented aggressive compensation programs during the pandemic to attract convalescent plasma donors.
For example, CSL Plasma offered $100 for the first convalescent plasma donation $200 for the second donation within the same month, and a BioLife coupon for $600 in three donations currently BioLife offers up to a $625 bonus for COVID-19 plasma donors who made the required number of donations on schedule.
The extra-high bonuses encouraged COVID survivors to come forward and donate their antibodies-rich plasma and help treat active virus patients.
What Are The Requirements For Donating Plasma?
Plasma donation has strict requirements for donor eligibility and safety. Here are some commonly required qualifications:
- Age 18-65 years
- Weight at least 110 pounds
- No major chronic illnesses
- No HIV or hepatitis infections
- Not using illegal drugs
- No blood-thinning or immunosuppressant medication
- Not pregnant or breastfeeding
You also cannot donate plasma if you have gotten a tattoo or piercing within the past year. Certain foreign travel may also defer donors temporarily.
Plasma centres test each donation for diseases and assess your vitals to ensure the process is safe for both donors and recipients. They may also require a physical exam for first-time donors.
Meeting all criteria makes you eligible for compensation for plasma donations. Failing to qualify means you cannot donate or earn for the time being.
What Is The Plasma Donation Process Like?
Donating plasma takes about 1-2 hours from start to finish. The process involves these key steps:
- Registration: You provide identification and fill out a questionnaire on your medical history.
- Physical exam – Staff check your vitals, take your blood sample, and administer a physical exam if required.
- Donation: You sit in a comfortable recliner. A sterile needle is inserted into your arm vein to draw blood. The blood goes into an automated machine that spins it to separate plasma from other components and collects the plasma. You get your remaining blood components back.
- Rest and observation: You rest after the donation, have a snack, and get your vitals checked before leaving.
The automated process makes the donation faster and safer than old manual methods. The plasma removed is quickly replaced by your body fluid levels normalizing within 24-48 hours.
Repeat donors can complete the process more quickly after the initial screening. But adequate rest between donations is advised, with 2 two-day gap being ideal.
Can You Legally Get Paid To Donate Plasma?
No, federal law prohibits direct payment for blood or plasma donation. However, plasma centres can compensate you for your time, inconvenience, and travel costs up to $75 per visit and $400 per month.
How Much Do Plasma Donation Centres Pay?
Compensation depends on the centre and frequency, but first-time donors may earn around $50 per donation. With regular twice-weekly donations, you can make $400-500 monthly.
Can You Get Paid For Donating Covid Plasma?
You cannot get directly paid for COVID-19 convalescent plasma donations. However, plasma centres offered extra high compensation bonuses during the pandemic to attract COVID survivors to donate.
What Are The Requirements To Donate Plasma?
You must be 18-65 years old, weigh 110+ pounds, pass disease testing, have no major health conditions, not be pregnant, and meet other criteria. Failing to meet any requirement makes you ineligible to donate.
What Does The Plasma Donation Process Involve?
The process takes about 1-2 hours involving registration, screening, plasma extraction by an automated machine, rest, refreshment, and observation before you can leave.
While federal law prohibits paying for blood or plasma, donors can earn up to $400 monthly from plasma centres as compensation for their time and inconvenience. Regular, long-term donors earn the most through tiered payment programs.
Convalescent plasma donors also earn similar compensation, with extra bonuses during COVID-19. Donors must meet all eligibility criteria for safety. The donation process uses automated machines for faster, safer plasma extraction while returning your red blood cells