Review our frequently asked questions below to learn more about our plasma donation process
Is giving plasma like donating blood?
Donating plasma is similar to giving blood, but easier on your body. The only part of your blood that your body must replace is the plasma itself. The red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are all returned to you. The blood is removed through a needle inserted into a vein in your arm. It passes into a sterile, self-contained system that separates the plasma from the other components of the blood. This process is called plasmapheresis. The non-plasma components are returned to you through the same needle. At no time is your blood exposed to open air; nor does it leave the sterile, enclosed environment of the plasmapheresis system.
Is the equipment used at ImmunoTek clean and sterile?
The supplies used at all of our centers come in sealed, sterile, one-time-use packages. These supplies are used in collecting your plasma and are disposed of immediately after use. A fresh package is always used for each donor.
Does it hurt?
Every person is of course different. Most of our donors compare the experience to giving blood, including the discomfort of the initial needle insertion.
How can I entertain myself during visits?
Many of our donors enjoy reading, using a smartphone or tablet, watching a variety of content on our big screen TV’s or simply relaxing and listening to music with headphones in the midst of their busy day. All ImmunoTek centers are equipped with free WiFi.
How do I get started?
No appointment is necessary. To schedule your first plasma donation, simply stop by an ImmunoTek Bio Centers location nearest you. On the day of your first donation, you must provide one or more forms of identification that include the following information: a photo, a signature, date of birth, and social security number. Please note that EXPIRED or damaged forms of identification are not acceptable. You must also provide proof of a permanent local address within the donor recruitment area of the facility in which you would like to donate.
Is it safe to donate plasma?
Yes. Donating plasma is a low-risk procedure with minimal or no side effects. Before a donor is accepted into the donor program, he or she must pass a physical examination and a survey of their medical history. During each subsequent visit, a team member checks the donor’s vital signs and the donor answers questions about their medical history.
How often can I donate plasma?
The body replaces the plasma removed during the donation process quickly; therefore, healthy individuals can donate as often as twice in a seven-day period, with at least one day between donations.
How long does it take to donate plasma?
On a donor’s first visit, the whole process, including a physical examination provided by an Immunotek medical professional and the plasma donation, usually takes about two hours. Repeat donors generally spend approximately an hour in the center, with the average plasmapheresis process taking around 45 minutes.
How is the collected plasma used?
Plasma is processed into a wide variety of lifesaving therapies that benefit thousands of people every day. Plasma-based therapeutics are used in the treatment of serious disorders such as hemophilia and immune system deficiencies, and to treat victims of shock and burns
Why do plasma donors receive money for donating?
Plasma donors spend up to two hours, as often as twice a week, in our centers to help save someone’s life or improve the quality of it. We merely offer compensation to our donors for their commitment to the program. For more compensation information, contact your local center directly.
What are the possible side effects?
Occasionally a donor may become light-headed during donation or immediately after. This is usually remedied by re-hydration and can usually be prevented by making sure you are well hydrated before donating. Slight bruising at the site of needle placement is possible, though not common.
Am I at risk for disease in donating plasma?
No. For each and every donation, a new, sealed, sterile, one-time-use package is used to collect your plasma. The needle placement site is sterilized. Your blood never leaves the closed system during the plasmapheresis process.
Are there any special nutrition guidelines for donating?
Common sense is your best guideline. Follow a well-balanced diet and eat before coming in to donate. Because you know your body will be losing fluid, drink plenty of water.
Do I need to make an appointment?
No appointment is necessary. To schedule your first plasma donation, stop by the ImmunoTek center nearest you.
Can I donate at any age?
Plasma donors need to be between the ages of 18 and 65 to be considered eligible to donate.
How are deferrals determined?
All donation eligibility decisions, including temporary or permanent deferrals, are decided by the center director. There are no reversals of these decisions.