Plasma, which is extracted from blood, serves a critical role in providing patients in need, with life-giving plasma. As a result, a whole industry has developed over the last few decades around plasma and today, it is currently worth 19 billion USD with several medical companies playing a key role in sourcing plasma for medical use. Plasma does indeed serve a vital purpose and any blood plasma you donate is immediately replenished by your body. Here’s to taking a closer look at some of the pros and cons of plasma donation.
Positives of plasma donation:
- Purpose: Blood plasma is essential and more often than not, burn victims and leukemia patients often require the same, which is where the donated plasma becomes critical to their very survival. Plasma donation serves an essential purpose and helps save many a life; there’s no denying this fact as the donated plasma often helps those critically ill to stave off infection and stay alive.
- Financial help: Plasma donation is a viable opportunity for many a donor as they can earn as much as $50 per donation. Essentially, when you donate blood or plasma at a blood bank, your body takes about a few days to replenish the same which is why there is an upper cap on the amount of blood you can donate per week. While $50 may not seem like much, the fact is that the amount in question can come handy to those in desperate need of cash.
- Health update: If you donate plasma or blood regularly, then chances are that your health is probably better than you may have thought. More to the point, the healthcare professional will run a complete check to see that there are no underlying health issues and these tests are always performed each time, prior to you donating any blood. As a result, your health would be regularly monitored and you should be in good health especially if you are donating blood regularly.
Negatives of plasma donation:
Plasma donation certainly comes with its own negatives and here’s to taking a look at the flip side of plasma industry.
Side effects: Some of the associated side effects of plasma or blood donation happens to be dehydration, vein damage, fatigue, listlessness, and fainting. These are some of the side effects that you are bound to experience when donating blood.
Help spread disease: Most medical companies barely test all the plasma or blood that they have collected and as a result, life-threatening conditions such as AIDS and Hepatitis C are often passed on to others through infected blood. While most of these medical companies do run tests every now and then, a few infected samples do get through with disastrous consequences. This is why it is vital for medical companies to run stringent tests on all donated blood to prevent any cross infection.
Black market: As hard as it may sound, there’s a black market for some of the hard to acquire blood types. The problem though is that most of these medical companies source some of their plasma and blood from dubious sources, and often do not screen the same for life-threatening conditions or diseases.
Taking advantage: Often those below the poverty line have no other option other than to sell their blood. And these medical companies are right there, getting them to sell their blood. These companies are taking advantage of those in need which if nothing else is despicable and if that was not enough, some of these companies do not even pay their donors a fair rate.
These are some of the associated positive and negatives of plasma donation; While it is widely accepted that plasma serves a critical purpose, the fact remains that it comes with its own slew of negatives. And some of these medical companies continue to practice these unethical practices to source plasma to this day. But that being the case, it is important for authorities to step in and to try and regulate the blood donation industry before more innocent patients become infected with a life-threatening condition as a result of the blood donation.
Make sure that you research online before donating your plasma; find out if the blood bank in question proves for effective measures to protect self and your loved ones,