Blood is made up of three main components: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. Plasma is the yellow, liquid portion of blood that serves as the carrier for cells and other minor blood components. Plasma is primarily composed of water and is needed for its dissolved proteins, clotting factors and various antibodies. Learn more about plasma.
Whole blood donation and plasma donation meet very different needs in the community and medical world. Donating whole blood involves the collection of red blood cells, in addition to plasma and platelets. Whole blood donors can only donate one pint of blood every 56 days in accordance with FDA guidelines.
Donating plasma involves removing and keeping the liquid component of blood while returning the red blood cells and other blood components back to the donor’s body using a specialized process called plasmapheresis. The process of donating plasma does take longer (usually 30-50 minutes depending on the height and weight of the donor) because blood components must be separated and returned to the body. This is why donors are capable of donating more frequently - plasma donors can donate as often as twice a week (but not two days in a row). Learn more about plasmapheresis.
Donating plasma is similar to donating blood. A donor will be comfortably reclined in a chair during the actual donation. A needle is placed in one arm and the blood goes through specialized plasmapheresis equipment that separates your plasma from the rest of the blood components. A donor’s red blood cells are then returned to the body using the same needle. All materials that come in contact with a donor’s blood during the plasmapheresis process are sterile and single-use. During your donation, you will have the use of one arm and may use a handheld device or just relax and watch TV. Learn more about the plasma donation process.
Thousands of people safely donate plasma every day. All of the materials that come in contact with our donor’s blood are sterile, opened in the donor’s presence, and used only once before being disposed. The equipment that is used to collect the donor’s plasma never comes into contact with the donor’s blood. Donor safety is our number one priority and we aim to meet or exceed all applicable regulatory requirement
Donating plasma is a very safe procedure with minimal or no side effects. Possible side effects that can occur during and after donation include dizziness, fainting, nausea, convulsions and shock. At the site of the needle stick there may be bruising that lasts for a few hours or a few days. If you have any questions about these or other possible side effects please contact us and ask to speak to a qualified medical staff member. If these or any other symptoms are severe, please seek professional medical attention as soon as possible.
B Positive donors are financially compensated for the time they spend saving lives and improving the quality of life for sick patients. Qualified donors are eligible to donate up to twice a week and can receive an average of $50 per week in the form of a reloadable debit card*. At B Positive we reward our most loyal donors through bonuses, gift cards and other incentives. Earn additional bonuses when you refer family and friends to join our team of dedicated B Positive donors.
*Please note that B Positive reserves the right to not allow an individual to donate twice in one week for any reason at any time
The first donation is primarily used for testing to ensure the safety and quality of the donor’s plasma. The first donation can only be used for life-saving medical therapies after a second donation is made, and both donations come back from testing with negative results in accordance with the standards set forth by the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA). Once we have two or more donations, the plasma will be used to produce life-saving therapies. These therapies can provide treatment to patients with conditions such as hemophilia and immune system deficiencies, and to help treat and prevent diseases like tetanus, rabies, measles, hepatitis B, and rubella. In addition, hospitals and emergency rooms all over the world use plasma-derived products to treat injuries such as shock and severe burns. Worldwide, the annual demand for plasma exceeds twenty million liters. One donation results in the collection of .66 liters to .88 liters of plasma (dependent upon the donor’s weight). It is important to remember that plasma is not a substance that can be synthetically created in a lab. We need donors to help supply hospitals and research facilities with the plasma they need to save lives.
To donate plasma a donor must be a healthy adult at least 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and pass all other required donor eligibility criteria set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Donors must bring proof of social security number to the first donation, and to each annual donation thereafter. The document provided must have the name and social security number, in its entirety. Every donor is also required to provide a valid state or federally issued photo identification (passport, license, residency card) and proof of their current residence, which must be located within 35 miles of a B Positive location. If the donor’s place of residence is not on their photo ID, a separate proof of address will be required (such as: a utility bill postmarked in the past 3 months with your name and address clearly written on the envelope, a copy of your current lease, a copy of your current mortgage, a bank or credit card bill from the last 3 months, etc.). Current residents of NJ, PA, DE, MD and VA that reside within 35 miles of a B Positive location are currently eligible to donate at B Positive. If you have any questions about your eligibility to donate plasma, please contact us.
To ensure the safety of the plasma supply, every donation is tested for hepatitis and HIV. Periodic tests for syphilis are also performed. To keep our donors healthy, every time they visit our center to donate we test their protein and red blood cell levels (hematocrit), along with their blood pressure, pulse, weight, and temperature. All test results are kept strictly confidential, unless the donor gives permission to share it or we are required to do so by law. Donors will be notified by our Medical Director regarding the finding of any adverse test results.
All donor information is safely locked up at all times. Medical test results are kept strictly confidential, unless the donor gives permission to share them or we are required to do so by law. Donors will be notified by our Medical Director regarding the finding of any adverse test results.
Since plasma is composed of approximately 92% water, the body replaces the plasma taken from your donation very quickly, usually between 24-48 hours. A donor can safely donate twice in a seven-day period, but not two days in a row. We encourage all of our donors to drink plenty of fluids if they plan to donate twice a week on a regular basis. While a donor may be eligible to donate up to twice per week, B Positive reserves the right to not allow an individual to donate twice in one week for any reason at any time.
If you are a return (repeat donor) the process usually takes about an hour and a half with a scheduled appointment. A first time donor can expect to be at the center for up to two and a half hours, because a basic physical examination is required in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
All donors must have a valid, current form of government or state issued photo identification such as a driver’s license, residency card, or passport. Donors will also need to provide proof of their current, local residence if their photo identification does not have their current address listed. A utility bill postmarked in the past 3 months with your name and address clearly written on the envelope, a copy of your current lease, a copy of your current mortgage, a bank or credit card bill from the last 3 months, etc. will suffice. Some exceptions may apply to the donor residence proximity requirement, such as being a college student, being military personnel, or being a donor who is participating in a specific antibody collection program. **Please Note: You must bring proof of your social security number to your first donation, and to each annual donation thereafter. The document you provide must have your name and your social security number, in its entirety.
Eat a well-balanced meal within two hours of your donation appointment (but please try to avoid fatty, greasy foods and significant amounts of dairy). Maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages the day before and the day of donating is very important. Just before donating, we recommend avoiding strenuous exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
After the completion of their donation we encourage our donors to eat a snack or light meal and drink plenty of fluids following the donation. We also advise our donors to avoid smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol for a few hours after their donation. Donors should keep the needle stick site clean and dry and only remove bandages after two or more hours. If bleeding persists, donors should raise their donation arm above their heart and apply pressure. If fainting or dizziness occurs, donors should lie down and ask someone to get them a cold beverage (non-diet sodas and juices are best) and a cool towel for your neck and forehead. If any symptoms persist, we advise donors to contact our facility and ask to speak to a qualified medical professional. If one or more symptoms are severe, donors should seek professional medical attention as soon as possible.
Our main goal is to ensure the safety of our donors and the blood products that they donate to the supply. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to assess your overall health status and donor eligibility via e-mail. We encourage potential donors to visit or contact our center to speak with a member of our medical staff. This medical professional will evaluate each person’s medical conditions and any medications they may be taking to determine their eligibility as a donor.