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March 07, 2007


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These centers are usually built in areas around colleges and universities so that cash-strapped students will come in with their textbooks and spend an hour studying while their blood is pumped in and out of their arms.

However, it should be cautioned that you will develop a significant scar on your skin at the point of needle insertion (its a big one), and that scar tissue will also form on your veins if you subject them to the same process repeatedly.

I only wish the centers were built in areas around colleges in Birmingham. Here, they tend to be located near homeless shelters and seedy areas of town. I decided once to donate, but when I arrived, the waiting room was standing room only, and there were people begging outside the entrance. I wasn't comfortable doing it. Besides, there was a 2 hour wait just to go to the donation area in the back.

I did this a few times and it really wasn't for me. You really have to not be scared of needles or anything like that. Also, the last time I went there was some complications, and there was bruising under the skin from the needle. So that was the last time I went.

But then, I know people who do it twice a week and have been at it for a long time... depends a lot on the person.

I used to do this for a while then I stopped and then started back up again.I also had some complications the last time I went in November of 2006 and had a lot of bruising on my arm also. That was a bit of a scare for me so I have not been back since. It was good money for a while. I would go on Wednesdays and Saturdays and was getting about $100 a month from it but I chickened out after my scare. We got paid less where I am from though, it was $15 every time and then $20 for every second one within 7 days.

Hmm, I guess I've got a good center where I donate. It's in a nice area of town, not near the university, and I've never seen any homeless people in or around it. I have noticed scars forming on the spot where the needle is inserted, but really, it's pretty tiny. I consider it a fair trade-off.

I think it really does depend on the person. It's definitely not for everybody.

I'll cash in on my plasma if the nurse sends a couple of paramedics to tackle me down as I flee for the hills!!!

I don't donate because it would interfere with my training. I don't really take enough time off from my various sports to be able to afford to lose the blood or the plasma, and for at least 8 months of the year they wouldn't be willing to take it anyway due to the trauma that training causes on my body.

I've done this in the past but I wouldn't do it where I'm living now. The local center is in a bad area of town and many of the donors are drug addicts. There was a recent article in a local paper noting that drug deals and drug use often happened in the donor center parking lot.

Yep, I can vouch for just about all of the above: Cash strapped student, studying or reading while donating, scars, complications and bruising.

All my friends thought I was crazy, but when you're in college you do what you have to do to get by. I don't think anyone really understood how broke I was.

Anyways: scaring can be easily avoided. It's a bit messy, but works. You get some of those huge Vitamin E capsules and just rub it right on the area after you've removed the band-aid.

Even without this, the scars aren't huge. I only have a scar because no one told me about the Vitamin E stuff and how to prevent it. It's about the size of the lil' tip of a AA battery (that was the only thing handy for a comparison). Also, since the Vitamin E keeps scare tissue from forming the needle goes in easier.

I just knew that I needed the money and hey, there's a lot worse things to get scared from. One thing, listen to what the folks say about rest and eating and replenishing fluids after. One day (I guess I thought I'd been doing this for so long that I didn't need to listen) I got home and went straight to washing the car in the sun with no breakfast. Let's just say it didn't work out well. I felt a bit faint and a bit sick and had to stop, go inside and lie down. But I blame myself, I was an idiot.

I had on scare when the needle wasn't in right. My blood go extracted but could not be returned because the needle slipped out. The bruising was caused by blood gathering under the skin. After a while this goes away, it's just a bruise. My biggest deal was that "I couldn't get my blood back" but the amount they take is not much more than when you donate blood, so it was fine. I just couldn't come back for 6-8 weeks or whatever.

Hey twin15, those were my days too, lol and same prices. I wish I could have gotten somewhere that pays like in the article.

If cash is real tight, it's a good idea and a great way to earn a lil' extra money. Especially if you're an international student and limited to 20 hrs a week on campus for minimum wage.

Neither my blood nor my bone marrow is any good.

I was actually a perfect match for some guy with leukemia and they refused when they found out I had lived in the UK. Apparently, since mad cow disease comes from the UK and I lived in the UK, I therefore must have mad cow disease too!

I did the plasma thing for a semester in college and never needed money from was cool until one nurse didn't know what she was doing and my vein collapsed and I almost left in an ambulance. My advice would be to talk to the others in the waiting room and ask which nurse is the best. I had the same nurse...he had been taking plasma for 20 years in the navy and never had any trouble. I only went in on his schedule. You should definitely ask repeat plasma donors. I really thought it was a cool way to meet people. Most of the people were poor and shared everything. They were so open and real. Lots of stories and we got to watch movies while we donated.

I did this years ago and it was easy. I have a small scar from it and always thought I looked like a junkie but the fact that it was for a good cause, was worth the time. Plus, you can donate plasma twice a week but blood less often.

My friend did this in college, but the thing that killed him was the commute time. It's more than 104 hours of time to do this, for him it was probably double that since it took about 20 minutes each way to get to the plasma center.

I would've considered it, but it gets in the way of having a physical lifestyle. I'm in the gym almost everyday and getting the plasma sucked out of me isn't a good combination when you're trying to bench press later that day.

I do however think that if people really need the money this is a good option.

Ryan @ Plantingdollars

I have donated blood, platelets, and plasma for years. The scars aren't that noticable and in my area they don't even have programs like this. Might get a free shirt or ice cream but they don't pay you.

Actually, you don't necessarily "have to be healthy" to donate plasma. If you happen to have an autoimmune disease or some other medical issues, there are companies who will pay big $$$ for your plasma so they can use it for research and to make test kits. I don't "qualify" to donate "healthy" plasma, but I donate "diseased state" plasma for one of these companies (Sera Care) and I make $500 per donation.

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