Do you have trouble maintaining an adequate hematocrit level to donate plasma? Low hematocrit is the most common reason that donors are deferred and unable to donate. While it is only a 1 day deferral, it is always frustrating when you are prepared to donate but are unable to make it through the Screening process due to your hematocrit.
During the screening process performed each time prior to donating at B Positive Plasma, your hematocrit levels are checked to ensure that you have a good percentage of blood volume in your red blood cells. This is important because, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the hematocrit level in your blood needs to be at least 38% for women and 39% for men to be suitable to donate blood plasma.
Low levels are often due to iron or Vitamin B deficiencies, which is fortunate because that can be fixed with some minor dietary changes. B Positive Insider is here with some healthy tips on how you can increase your hematocrit level through diet and healthy lifestyle!
Eat more iron-rich foods
Iron-rich foods are critical to a healthy lifestyle, but increasing your intake the day before and your donation day will help elevate your hematocrit level. We recommend:
- Red meat, particularly liver
- Chicken and turkey
- Fish and shellfish
- Dark green, leafy vegetables
- Raisins, apricots, prunes and peaches
- Nuts, legumes and lentils
- Oatmeal and dry cereal
Consume foods with Vitamin C at the same time
Eating foods containing high amounts of Vitamin C – such as broccoli, tomatoes, citrus, strawberries and cauliflower – assist in the absorption of iron. For example, a meal with the most benefits would be baked chicken with broccoli and brown rice, or oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon!
Eat more Vitamin B and Folate
Foods with a lot of Vitamin B and folate are usually foods high in iron as well, other important sources of Vitamin B include:
- Orange juice
- Fortified foods
Folate helps your body produce red blood cells, so it is critical that you eat these recommended foods often as a plasma donor. A little + often = a lot!
Limit your caffeine intake
Avoid drinking coffee and milk or eating too much soy and fiber before you donate! These foods can block iron absorption and decrease your hematocrit level.
Following these dietary recommendations will make you a healthy and optimal candidate to donate plasma!
Still interested in becoming a paid blood plasma donor and earning $50 each for your first 5 donations at
B Positive Plasma? Learn more and schedule your first appointment at www.myplasmacenter.com! All blood types welcome!
B Positive Plasma wants to be your valentine this February! Repeat donors are eligible for an additional $25 at your second donation when you complete two donations every week. In addition, you are also eligible to a $75 total loyalty reward on your 7th donation made within the calendar month! And if that doesn't unlock the key to your heart, you have a chance to earn $35 for EVERY FIRST TIME DONOR YOU REFER when they sign up online and add your full name. So, share the love this month and make B Positive Plasma YOUR plasma center!
*Referrals apply to first-time donors only. Referrals will be paid within 48 hours of new donor's first complete donation. Donation must be complete between 2/1 and 2/28 to receive $35 bonus.