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How to Get Paid to Donate Plasma with a Positive Diagnosis

Updated on November 7, 2011
Straw-Colored Plasma Cells Collected After Being Separated
Straw-Colored Plasma Cells Collected After Being Separated | Source

Make Money Selling Your Plasma - Even If You Are Sick

Tough times call for tough budgeting decisions. Everyone who has felt the economic pinch has been cutting back on spending and looking for additional income. Whether it's making money online, adding a part-time weekend job, or selling family heirlooms on eBay -- people are going to figure out a way to make ends meet.

But times are especially tough for those who suffer illnesses and have mountains of medical bills to pay. With some U.S. states scrutinizing medicare and healthcare costs, getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder like Lupus or an infectious illness like HIV can make it almost impossible to be treated and keep food on the table. Many people with chronic illnesses end up unable to work even at a sedentary day job -- so waiting tables on weeknights for supplemental income isn't even option.

So what can you do if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that has put you out of work and you need an extra way to pay for your medical bills and daily expenses? You can consider donating your blood or plasma to help medical research.

That's right. The antibodies specific to your condition, found in your plasma, are needed to help research & develop better diagnostic test kits and therapeutic treatments for others suffering with the same condition. Pharmaceutical companies need positive plasma to test before the clinical trial stage, and researchers need to look at the antibody curves to better study the disease so that medical technologies can be improved.

You may have heard about plasma donations in other hubs as a way to make extra money. And yes, many healthy people can also consider making extra money by donating not only plasma but also their eggs, sperm, hair, kidney, bone marrow, or other biological specimens to make some extra cash. Most blood and plasma donation centers pay healthy donors anywhere from $20-50 per donation. Plasma donations can only take place twice in a seven day period, with one full day in between donating, and blood donations can only take place once every eight weeks.

Donors with illnesses can't give plasma at a regular center like the BioLife Plasma or Blood Centers of America, because having an infectious illness or autoimmune disorder marks that person with a "deferred status," often permanently. So where can you go to donate? Companies like SeraCare Life Sciences provide the opportunity for people with medical conditions to donate at U.S. FDA licensed and registered plasma centers all across the country. On their website they state that payment is a minimum of $200 per donation, but the average compensation for donations is actually around $400. They also will make a monetary donation to a charity or research foundation of your choice in lieu of your compensation.

How the Donation Process Works:

Donating plasma takes about 45 minutes and the overall visit is about 1 hour - 1.5 hours. At each FDA licensed and registered plasma center, an on-site physician will assess each person prior to the donation process to ensure vital signs, hematocrit, and blood pressure are all at the right levels to proceed.

A disposable, sterile IV is started in the arm and the plasma cells are separated in a plasmapheresis machine from the rest of the blood. The red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other blood cells are returned to the body.

Donors are encouraged to eat a good meal and drink plenty of water prior to donating, and are often asked to continue drinking fluids after the procedure is over.

Who Qualifies to Donate Plasma?

All participants need to submit a copy of his or her most recent blood work showing a positive test result. For example, if you have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, you must provide a copy of your blood work showing that you tested positive for Hepatitis A. All antibody test results that are submitted for review are kept confidential and all personal health information is protected under strict HIPAA compliant procedures.

Qualified Donors are:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Weigh at least 110lbs.
  • Diagnosed with or test positive for one of the conditions below

Autoimmune Disorders:

  • Lupus / SLE
  • Crohn's
  • Wegner's
  • Celiac
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Parietal Cell

Infectious Diseases

(Must be recently diagnosed to donate. Within 0-3 months of infection)

  • Chicken Pox (VZV)
  • EBV/Mono
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • HTLV*
  • Lyme Disease
  • Babesiosis / Babesia
  • West Nile Virus
  • Rubella
  • Measles
  • HIV Type O
  • HIV-2
  • Bordetella Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Dengue Fever
  • Influenza A or B
  • Hepatitis C (non genotype 1 or 3)

*HTLV donors do not need to be recently diagnosed to participate

How Much Can You Really Make?

As stated above, SeraCare advertises on the website that you can make a minimum of $200 per donation. But how much do most people make?

The average payment for donation is $400. Most infectious disease donors can participate 2-6 times total, because many of the infections listed above diminish over time (and thus, antibody levels decrease). So on average, the most you could make would be around $2400.

For chronic autoimmune disorders, some donors can continue coming back to donate several times, up to twice a week. However, most donors donate twice every 4-5 weeks for a total of $800 monthly.

There are also some opportunities for people with severe allergies to donate plasma. Those donors make about $200-300 per donation each time and usually donate 2-3 times periodically for a maximum of $600-900.

Refer a Friend to Make Extra Money

They also advertise that you can refer a friend to donate plasma and make $200 per referred person who participates. So if you're a healthy person looking to make some extra money and don't qualify to donate plasma for medical research, you can let your friend or family member know about the program and receive $200 if your referral becomes a donor.

So the truth is revealed: you really can make extra money selling your plasma -- even if you are sick. You will not only help yourself persevere through financial hardship, but also help improve better testing, treatments, and diagnostics for others around you.

To Donate or Not to Donate?

Would You Consider Donating Your Plasma to Make Extra Money?

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    • profile image

      Jeffery Gambill 3 months ago

      antiphosphospholipid syndrome - lupus anti-coagulant....rhumatoid arthritis...

    • profile image

      Robert Huston 3 months ago

      Wher can i go to donate plazma with hep c????

    • profile image

      sara 5 months ago

      where do u go in c incinnati Ohio or northern ky

    • profile image

      Frances 5 months ago

      Where in colorado can i go if you have hep c

    • profile image

      Tom 13 months ago

      So im a little confused, does that mean if you do have hep c you can or cannot donate?

    • profile image

      pam 15 months ago

      Where can I go in arkansas.

    • profile image

      Tammy 22 months ago

      I'm in Oregon and I have RA, fibromyalgia, and hypothyroidism, I would love to donate, when and where

    • profile image 2 years ago

      In the curious stage of wanting information. Would appreciate what you may have.

    • profile image

      valeriehayden8008@gmail. com 2 years ago

      I need info on it around my area please

    • profile image

      Lana Johnston 3 years ago

      I was excited that plasma donation was possible for individuals who have an autoimmune disease. Could I get more information on how to do this and sites where this can be done?

    • profile image

      Katy 4 years ago

      Where can I go in okc,OK?

    • profile image

      Yvonne 5 years ago

      I am interested in donating plasma for reasearch. Could you be be more specific ahout Thyroid Disease? Do you mean Hyperthyroidism, Graves Disease, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Goiter? There are a lot more different diagnosis that would fall into "thyroid Disease."

    • profile image

      Tina 5 years ago

      I was turned down @ Talecris plasma center due to Chrones disease. I was so upset that my expectations of $60 had caved in so I worried of how I would pay rent. I Google this site and felt blessed to find out something this interesting.

    • profile image

      RoJean 6 years ago

      Emily, Thank you for the opportunity to donate with your company. The process was easy and the people I met with were wonderful! I look forward to donating again soon. This was a great opportunity for me and I hope that the plasma donated will lead to some insights into the disease I was diagnosed with.

    • profile image

      Jeff 6 years ago

      Great article Em. I'll share with my network

    • Bitingtruths profile image

      Bitingtruths 6 years ago from Mumbai


      nice article. I hope I was in US. I would have given it a thought. Not for money though, but for research. I do not know much about biotech, I am a philosopher thus any kind of new knowledge appeals to me.

    • emsherman profile image

      emsherman 6 years ago from Boston, MA

      Thanks Kristen! I appreciate the feedback on my first hub. Yes, a lot of people don't realize how much they can help researchers by participating in plasma donations. Hopefully more participation will lead to cures!

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 6 years ago from Modesto, CA

      Thank you for this information. I had no idea that donation was possible for people who have those disorders. I guess the researchers need something to work with! Thanks for sharing, this was very informative. Voted up!