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By: A L.
Biolife Plasma
I had been donating plasma for about three or four months and took almost a year off, then decided to go back maybe two months ago. Up until the last time I went, I had never had a bad experience, but I wouldn't say I've ever had an outstanding experience. The last time I went things seemed to be going fine while donating but something happened on my second return (forgive me, I don't remember what exactly occurred). Anyway, the technician I had literally played around with the needle in my arm. Not pleased. I was instantly annoyed and very surprised that this person who is supposed to have experience with this is moving a needle around in my arm like it's no one business. I ended up with a nice hematoma, lots of bruising and still trying to get complete range of motion of my arm back. Now, I understand that something like this can happen at any time, to anyone, but I am most disappointed and uncomfortable with the fact that this man was continuously moving a needle around my room. Shouldn't he have known better??? I won't be back, I'd rather keep my arm moving as it should. Not worth $50 to not be able to move my arm normally for over a week.
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By: Joanna E.
Biolife Plasma
The workers are not very personable and they have sent me home many times for problems that were their fault. They need to learn how to properly stick a needle in someone's arm. They have also sent me home because they "thought" I had allergies even when I told them I don't and I don't know where they got that from. Very unprofessional.
Tips & Advices
One study cited by the National Institutes of Health found only 1.2 percent of blood donors experienced any kind of adverse reaction from giving blood. The most common side effects from giving blood are relatively mild:
  • Lightheadedness upon standing is common. Donors are encouraged to rest for at least 15 minutes after the procedure while drinking water and eating a small snack. Some donors find they become nauseous after the procedure, but this should subside quickly.
  • Pain and some bruising around the injection site is common. Pain should be mild, but it is normal for bruising to persist for several days.
  • For a few days afterward, the loss of blood may induce dizziness or feelings of weakness when performing strenuous activity. Donors are advised to avoid physical exertion for 24 hours after the procedure, and to be cautious when exercising for the following week.
Very rarely, blood donors may vomit or faint immediately after the procedure. This is generally benign and will resolve itself within hours. Donors should seek medical attention if they experience significant pain or tingling in their arm and around the injection site, or if bruising does not subside within a week. If a donor shows signs of a cold or flu in the days following the procedure, they should call the blood center since this may make the blood sample unsafe to use.
By definition, blood donation is voluntary and done without compensation. Some blood banks do offer cash or other rewards for giving blood. Whether donors are paid or not, blood banks typically serve as intermediaries between blood sources and hospitals. Even voluntarily donated blood is usually tested, separated and sold to medical services for use in blood transfusions and other procedures.
Blood donations are considered safe when performed by trained professionals who follow all the necessary procedures. In healthy donors, side effects are generally mild (see below), and serious complications are rare.
Different organizations have their own restrictions on who is eligible to give blood. The most common requirements stipulate donors must be old enough to give legal consent (17 in most states) and should be in good physical health. Most organizations prohibit donations from people with diseases that can be transmitted through blood, such as HIV and hepatitis. Beyond that, organizations may prevent donations from people who have traveled to or lived in certain countries where there is a greater risk of disease. There might be additional restrictions in place as eligibility for blood donation is at the sole discretion of the organization collecting it.
Blood centers typically  allow eligible donors to undergo a whole blood donation once every 16 weeks (56 days). Donations through apheresis are allowed every seven days, up to 24 times per year.

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