Are you considering giving back to the community? Philanthropy delivers many advantages, including improving your moods. Nonetheless, giving back isn’t always straightforward, especially considering your busy schedule and situation. One way people give back is by donating blood and plasma, which doesn’t take much time. Blood donation is a lot easier as it only involves drawing the blood. The plasma donation process is a lot trickier, and while you will, in most centers, get compensated, understanding the possible effects is recommended. Don’t be swayed by the compensation a center offers. Choosing the best plasma donation center ensures that your efforts don’t expose you to many risks. The top two side effects that emphasize due diligently as you choose plasma donation center includes;
Whenever a needle pierces your skin, there is always an infection risk. This stresses the need to ensure that the donation center is safe and clean to lower the infection rate. You also must ensure that only a professional who knows how to handle the needle works on you during the process. As the needle pierces the skin, it punctures the skin tissue. This gives bacteria a window to get in. The needle can also carry bacteria beyond the surface and into the vein. This means that you can get an infection around the injection site and in the blood.
Among the signs that you might have an infection includes red, swollen, and tender-looking skin. You might also feel warmer around the injection site. The worst part about infections is the possible complications that can affect your wellbeing. If you spot signs after a plasma donation, seek immediate attention from your doctor. Keeping the impact of infection in mind, you shouldn’t visit just about any donation center.
Before the plasma donation begins, the center must run some screening, including a physical exam, blood test, and a questionnaire, among others. If there is no screening, it should raise a red flag. The screening process helps to establish potential concerns, such as allergies and reactions to certain substances. For instance, if you have previously donated plasma and had a citrate reaction, the center might advise against it or ensure measures are in place to avoid a severe reaction.
While rare, a citrate reaction is among the serious plasma donation side effects. Plasma donation involves:
- Drawing blood
- Getting it through the plasma-separating machine
- Returning it back into your body while still on the chair
The blood collected is infused with an anticoagulant before it is returned to your system. Its purpose is to prevent clots formation. While most of the citrate remains in the machine, some make it into your bloodstream. Most people don’t notice any effect, but due to the temporary loss of calcium, some individuals experience a citrate reaction. Among the signs that you might have a citrate reaction includes;
- Lightheadedness, shivering, and a feeling of vibration throughout the body
- Tingling and numbness (typically affecting the toes, fingers, and lips)
- Metallic taste
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle twitching
- Irregular (slow/rapid) pulse
Such signs must be promptly addressed. If not, you could experience more severe symptoms, including cardiac arrest, spasms, and shock. With such an impact, diligently choosing the donation center can’t be stressed enough. This ensures that the screening process is thorough, picking up on potential risks and putting measures in place to curb them.
Plasma donation also exposes the donor to other side effects that aren’t as challenging. The typical side effects you can expect include;
- Lightheadedness and fainting
The side effects are normal. This is keeping in mind that the plasma collected contains a lot of water, nutrients, and salts. As you donate plasma, chances of an electrolyte imbalance are high, resulting in such side effects. As you prepare for a plasma donation, ensure that you are well hydrated. Take an extra ounce of fluids, but not alcoholic beverages. Also, keep track of how often you donate. While the process is safe, and you can do it often, it is advisable to give your body at least 28 days break before your next donation. This means, at most, 13 plasma donations per year. The process takes longer than a blood donation. Nonetheless, expect nothing longer than an hour and a half.