Plasma donations surge in central Texas amid rising inflation
WACO, Texas (KWTX) — With household costs rising, a new trend is emerging that has many Central Texans turning to donating plasma to earn extra cash.
“That extra income can be substantial,” said Tom Hewitt, senior marketing manager for Octapharma Plasma.
Octapharma as well as other plasma companies, including CSL Plasma, which both have locations in Waco, are seeing an increase in plasma donations.
“We have seen an increase in several of our centers,” said Dr. Jennifer Hanes, divisional medical director for CSL Plasma.
CSL would not disclose the amount of the increase, however, some plasma centers nationwide are reporting increases between ten and thirty percent this summer compared to a normal season.
“We’re seeing, right now, somewhere in the neighborhood of a ten percent increase,” Hewitt said. “I would say the extra income is great, and I think we have people taking advantage of that.”
According to the latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose 9.1%: the largest increase in 40 years.
As a result, some people are going “under the needle” to earn extra money, using plasma donation as a way to pay bills and make ends meet.
“Because donating plasma takes longer, donors get paid for it, and right now in Waco, if you’re new to CSL plasma, in that first month of donating, you can earn up to at $650 a month,” Hanes said. .
Hewitt said their donors receive similar compensation for their time because it takes longer to donate plasma than blood.
“Plasma donation is the process of extracting proteins from blood and returning that blood to the body,” Hewitt said.
This increase helps fill the donation gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re seeing a slight uptick (in donations), which is a good sign because remember: we’ve had about two years where plasma donations have really dropped,” Hewitt said. “We’ve dug ourselves a hole as an industry, and so we’re trying to rebuild the supply, and so for us it’s good news to have this upside, but we have a long way to go to be able to lift us up. where we were before the pandemic.
According to several industry and media sources, two-thirds of the world’s plasma supply comes from the United States, in part because of the financial incentives offered.
Plasma is used for a number of critical care needs, from blood disorders to immunodeficiency.
“Burn victims are typically treated with plasma-related therapies, so it has a wide range of applications and cannot be synthetically manufactured,” Hewitt said.
Hanes says people can only donate blood about once every two months, however, people can donate plasma up to twice a week because red blood cells are returned.
“Plasma is this beautiful golden-colored liquid that has a lot of protein, salts, hormones, things that we use to make drugs, that can save the lives of people with rare and serious diseases,” he said. Hanes.
The medical importance of donating plasma, combined with the financial incentive to donate it, is a “win-win,” according to plasma officials.
“It’s a great way to help your own wallet while really helping people with the medications they need,” Hanes said.
To donate plasma, you must be at least 18 years old, weigh 110 pounds and be in good health.
For more information on donating plasma, click here or here.
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