What to Expect before you Donate Plasma
Congratulations, you’re on the road to donating plasma! Donors play a very important role in the lives of those who are sick; in fact, they are lifesavers. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of those who are eligible to donate choose to do so, which is why your contributions are so powerful. In order for you to have a healthy, comfortable, and most importantly, safe experience, there are a few important do’s and don’ts to consider.
Eat a protein and iron-rich meal no more than a few hours before your donation. You do not want an empty stomach!
Protein-rich foods include but are not limited to:
- Iron-rich foods include but are not limited to:
- Certain breakfast cereals
- Broccoli & leafy greens
Fatty snacks and treats prior to your donation. These foods can have a negative impact on blood tests, potentially preventing you from donating.
Fast before your donation. It is important you’ve eaten a healthy meal within a few hours before your donation.
Fatty foods to avoid include but are not limited to:
- Potato chips
- French fries
- Ice cream
(*Healthy fats are okay. These include avocado, fatty fish, eggs, nuts, cheese, and full-fat yogurt)
Much like with food, what you drink is an essential factor in the overall health of your blood plasma.
Drink plenty of water before and after donating. Drinking water is so important because it directly affects how full your vein is and how your plasma is separated. Make sure you have plenty of H2O in the 12 hours before and after your donation.
Limit drinks that reduce iron absorption such as coffee, tea, and milk. You don’t have to cut them out completely but reduce your intake.
Drink alcohol for 24 hours before donating. Alcohol can lead to dehydration, making it difficult for you to donate.
- Get a good night’s sleep before donating your plasma, as it’ll allow for a quicker recovery and a more plentiful donation.
- Ensure your sleeves are able to be pushed up so the center team can access the veins in your arms.
- Consider bringing a light sweater to keep warm during the donation process.
- Bring any personal items that will help you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
- Pack your phone, a book, or headphones to help pass the time. (All BPL Plasma centers have free WiFi!)
Following these tips and keeping yourself healthy will make you eligible to donate plasma and save lives. At BPL Plasma, our donors are our priority, and we thank you for your continued contributions. We have 29 locations nationwide, find your closest center here.