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Donating plasma has benefits, hazards

By Ben Stopka
On March 8, 2017

Admit it, you’ve been tempted to try donating plasma. Whether you desire to help those in need or just need some quick money, you have considered it at least once. I went to the different welcoming events that Kirkwood offered this year and at one of these events, there was a table giving out information about BioLife, the plasma donation organization. I was excited when I heard this was real and I could get money two times a week for something I can’t see in my body. 

I excitedly told my mom my plan, only to get it shot down with an article she sent me. In the article by The Atlantic called “The Twisted Business of Donating Plasma,” it didn’t paint a pretty picture. It said that though the short term effects like faintness and nausea were benign, the long term effects such as damaged veins and lowering immunoglobulin levels were to dangerous. Safe to say, I never donated plasma. 

That didn’t stop some of my friends though. Some would go often, some only once in awhile, and they had differing opinions on the place. But the overall consensus was that it’s not as scary as you think and that the centers follow the FDA regulations, and make you feel relatively safe. 

I looked up “is donating plasma bad for your health” on Google. The first thing to pop up was a link to The website had been written by a phlebotomist who had witnessed many of the donation processes. They assured those who were doubtful that present day centers must follow the FDA regulations strictly and that there isn’t any major risk, provided you’re prudent. 

If you’re at all suspicious of BioLife or other similar places, by all means choose not to go. But if you are thinking about taking the needle for a little money, here are some helpful tips. First off, You should be drinking more than enough fluids the day before and after donating. Secondly, if you lack a healthy lifestyle or go to often, you’re at an increased risk of health issues. Do your research, be smart, and you’ll be fine. 

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