Octapharma Plasma pays people to donate plasma on a regular basis, and provides bonuses when the need is particularly great
Expected pay: $45 to $100 an hour
Commissions & fees: NA
Where: 160 offices in select cities throughout the U.S.
Requirements: Age 18-70; Weigh at least 110 pounds; good health; No HIV, Hepatitis or recent tattoos or pregnancies. Pass a health screening. Have a valid ID, Social Security number and local address
Octapharma Plasma review:
Octapharma Plasma pays individual consumers fairly generously to donate plasma on a regular basis.
The site runs occasional bonuses and promotions. However, as of Nov. 2022 pays $100 for each of a donor’s first seven donations. After that, donors are paid based on their weight. The more you weigh, the more you get. So, a 110-pound donor would earn $45 per donation. A 200-pound donor would earn $70.
The site justifies the weight-staggered payments based on the premise that donations take longer, and can produce more plasma, when you’re bigger. The FDA, which enforces safety regulations related to medical procedures, apparently restricts how much plasma can be taken from any given individual based on their size.
Payments are made to a reloadable debit card, which can be used to buy things without fees. However, you may need to pay a $1.50 to access cash.
How this side hustle works:
When you come in for your first plasma donation, an Octapharma technician will sit you in front of a video that explains how the process works and the site’s safety precautions. You’ll then be screened for health issues, including iron deficiencies and transmittable diseases.
If you pass the screening, you’ll be hooked up to an apheresis machine, which will draw your blood, separate the blood and platelets from the plasma, and then return the blood and platelet cells back to you.
The process typically takes about an hour, but can take more or less depending on your size, level of hydration and other factors.
All Octapharma centers have free wifi, so you can stream videos or listen to music while you donate. However, the site asks that you bring headphones so you don’t disturb other donors. Some people also get cold while giving blood and plasma, so it’s wise to bring a sweater or blanket that you can put over you.
Also be sure to wear comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be rolled above your elbow. Eat plenty of protein and drink lots of water before donating.
What is plasma?
Plasma is the yellowish liquid that carries blood cells, nutrients and waste through your system. It’s largely made up of water, but contains vital proteins and clotting agents that are pivotal in treating patients with cancer, traumatic injuries and immune diseases.
Because healthy bodies quickly regenerate the plasma removed during a donation, the FDA (which regulates medical products) allows as many as two plasma donations in a single week. But it restricts total donations to no more than 24 per year.
What are the side-effects?
The main side effect of plasma donation is that you could become slightly dehydrated. You can — and should — combat that by limiting your alcohol intake prior to the donation and drinking plenty of other fluids, such as water and juices. Some people also feel cold when donating, so it’s advisable to have a sweater or blanket handy when donating.
Donating plasma is a great thing to do for yourself and for the world at large. And Octapharma is one of several sites that we recommend for both its convenience and it’s generous donor payments. However, if there are no Octapharma locations convenient to you (find locations here), consider Biomat or Trusting Heart Blood Centers.