Donating plasma is not a common topic with regards to blood donation. However, you would hear about it more in times of natural disasters, when there is an increased demand for plasma. However, it is always required.
Donating plasma is different from blood donation in the sense that the blood is extracted and plasma is separated from it to be used for injecting people who need it. Considering the serious process involved, here are the pros and cons of donating plasma before you do it:
List of Pros of Donating Plasma
1. It allows you to help other people in need.
Health conditions that occur during natural disasters increase the requirement for plasma, particularly those life threatening cases. So, readily available plasma helps with saving lives.
2. It will reduce the risk of getting serious health conditions.
Research shows that people who donated plasma regularly have lowered their risk of developing serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, later on in life.
3. It helps save many people.
Generally, donated plasma is given to patients who suffer from leukemia, burns and dysfunctional organs. Treating them without plasma would be very difficult and even ineffective. Also, donated blood plasma has become a lifeline for children with leukemia.
4. It is safe.
People may or may not be suitable for plasma donation drives, depending on their current health status. If you are not suffering from high blood pressure or other impaired vital signs, you will just be good for plasma donations.
5. It can serve as an extra income when needed.
Remember that blood donations are not paid, but plasma donations are. Just take note that the limit of donations is twice a week, and if you meet the criteria, you can get up a considerable amount of money.
List of Cons of Donating Plasma
1. It can be tiring to your body.
Although it is safe, donating plasma over a period of time can wear you out. It can cause collapsed veins, especially if you regularly do it. Fortunately, donation centers do not allow you to leave unless you are physically fit.
2. It can be uncomfortable or even scary.
When you donate plasma at first, you need to answer very personal questions, including some related to the sexual history. Also, it can be done only if you are fully hydrated, hence requiring you to drink glasses of water before donating.
3. It can have a negative, long-term effect on your health.
This problem would not occur if you donate plasma seldom. However, if you do it regularly, you can experience some conditions, including a decrease in your antibody production levels.
4. It can leave you dehydrated.
It is important to know that plasma is water-based, hence regular donation can leave your body dehydrated, causing dizziness, vomiting and even fainting.
5. It can decrease your calcium.
Separation of plasma from the blood involves the use of anti-coagulants, which makes the process easier and faster. However, these anti-coagulants remove calcium from your blood, and the failure to replace it can result to short and long-term health effects.
6. It is an uncomfortable experience if you are afraid of needles.
If you cannot bear the idea of having needles poked in your body, remember that the donation process involves a needle remaining inserted in your body for at least half an hour.
Now that you know the pros and cons of donating plasma, you should already know how to make a sound decision about doing it. Just observe the measures in properly doing it without risking your own self during the process.