Donating Plasma Faq: Everything You Need To Know About Plasma Donation
Do you want to donate plasma, either to earn a little extra money or to help your community? Although its a fairly common practice, its a little more complicated than donating blood. If youre thinking of doing this for the first time, you might be uncertain what to expect. Read on for our guide to frequently asked questions about the requirements for donating plasma and the process overall.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis A
Some people have symptoms 2 to 7 weeks after they come in contact with the virus.3 People with hepatitis A typically get better without treatment after a few weeks. In some cases, symptoms can last up to 6 months. These symptoms may include
Some people infected with hepatitis A have no symptoms, including many children younger than age 6.3 Older children and adults are more likely to have symptoms.
False Reactive Test Results
What if I have a false reactive test result?
Every donation given to Canadian Blood Services is tested for infectious diseases caused by the hepatitis viruses B and C, HIV, syphilis and another uncommon virus called HTLV .
A false reactive test result means your initial screening test was reactivein other words, suggested the presence of something that would prevent you from donating bloodand a more precise follow-up test was negative. Almost all false reactive results occur because of interference with a test and are not necessarily due to testing positive for an infection.
How does Canadian Blood Services test blood?
We follow a two-stage testing method that is used in laboratories worldwide. In the first stage, a sensitive screening test looks for the possible presence of infection. If the screening test shows no reaction, the blood is considered free of infection and no further testing is done. However, if the screening test is reactive, further testing is done to sort out whether the reactive result was due to an infection in the blood or interference with the test. The second test identifies markers in the blood that are found only when infection is present.
Do I need to go to my doctor for repeat testing?
Yes. Repeat testing should be discussed with your doctor because he/she is in the best position to offer you personal medical advice.
Do my partner, children, or friends need to worry if I’ve had a false reactive result?
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How And Where To Donate
The need for blood donation is critical and ongoing. From the time of donation, blood can be stored in a refrigerator for only 42 days. Moreover, blood centers typically run out of types O and B, placing patients with these blood types at risk during public health emergencies.
If you are least 16 years of age in most states, are in good health, and weigh at least 110 pounds, you are eligible to be considered as a blood donor. You can find where to donate blood near you by accessing the American Red Cross website.
From start to finish, the blood donation process takes around the hour, including 10 minutes to draw one pint of blood.
Are There Supplements That Are Good For My Liver
If a person eats a balanced diet, they will normally get enough vitamins and minerals. People with liver disease should avoid taking large amounts of supplements or “mega-vitamins.” This is because the liver has to do extra work to process them. Your provider may put you on a general multivitamin without iron.
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If I Have Hepatitis C Infection Does This Mean I Am Going To Have Other Health Problems
Hepatitis C can cause scarring of the liver leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Other conditions have also been linked to hepatitis C and are known as extra-hepatic manifestations of hepatitis C. They include diabetes mellitus, arthritis, hypothyroid, and aplastic anemia among other conditions. Talk to your provider for more information.
What Is Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage. Inflammation is swelling that occurs when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can damage organs.
Viruses invade normal cells in your body. Many viruses cause infections that can be spread from person to person. The hepatitis A virus typically spreads through contact with food or water that has been contaminated by an infected persons stool.
Hepatitis A is an acute or short-term infection, which means people usually get better without treatment after a few weeks. In rare cases, hepatitis A can be severe and lead to liver failure and the need for an emergency liver transplant to survive. Hepatitis A does not lead to long-term complications, such as cirrhosis, because the infection only lasts a short time.
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Where Should I Donate Plasma
Choosing the best plasma donation site largely depends on your location. Naturally, you want to select a plasma facility close by and convenient for you to visit in person. Another factor to consider is the compensation and whether the site offers first-time donor bonuses and promotions. By researching these benefits in advance, you can maximize the amount of payment you receive for your donations.
Why Use Donotpay To Help Donate Blood Plasma
Here’s why you should let DoNotPay help you find a blood plasma center for you.
- It’s fast. You won’t have to spend hours trying to find the right blood plasma center.
- It’s easy. You don’t have to struggle filling out tedious forms or keeping track of various steps to complete the process.
- It’s successful. You can rest easy knowing that we’ll make the best case for you.
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A Postive Test Plus A Negative Test Equals
Heather Mullins, the regional epidemiologist for the Sullivan County Health Department, said a couple of things can happen to cause what appears to be a false positive hepatitis test.
For Hepatitis C, Mullins said a sample will first be tested for antibodies to the virus. She described antibodies as the bodys warriors that are created to fight an infection like hepatitis.
A presence of Hepatitis C antibodies, she explained, means that the body was exposed to the virus in the past. The next step is to test for the presence of the virus by searching for its genetic material in the blood.
The outcome of the second test determines whether the patient has an active Hepatitis C infection.
Sometimes, Mullins said, the first test will be positive and the second test will be negative.
That means your body has probably cleared the infection of Hepatitis C, she said, adding that there is about 15-25 percent of the population who can naturally fight off the infection.
Those Hepatitis C antibodies will always be in your system, even if you cleared the infection or not, she continued. Thats pretty much showing evidence that you had exposure to that virus at some point in time in your life.
Things are a little bit different for Hepatitis B, which is what Rosenbaum thought she had. Mullins said there are about five different indicators that would trigger a positive result on an initial test.
Who Is More Likely To Get Hepatitis A
People more likely to get hepatitis A are those who
- travel to developing countries
- have sex with an infected person
- are men who have sex with men
- use illegal drugs, including drugs that are not injected
- experience unstable housing or homelessness
- live with or care for someone who has hepatitis A
- live with or care for a child recently adopted from a country where hepatitis A is common
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What Are The Different Types Of Blood Tests How Often Should I Get These Tests Done
There are several different blood tests, or “labs” that your provider may order for you. The tests measure the amounts of various proteins and enzymes that the liver produces. This is a way of finding out how damaged the liver is. Your provider can determine how often each test needs to be done. Please see Understanding Lab Tests for more details about the tests you may have.
Encouraging Others To Get Tested For Hepatitis C
While the odds of passing on the hepatitis C virus are low, you should still tell anyone at risk that you have hepatitis C. You should tell sexual partners, spouses, and family members. Your infection may be difficult to discuss, but anyone at potential risk must know. That way, they can get tested and treated if needed. Read more on why you should get tested for hepatitis C.
Paul Berk, MD, professor of medicine and emeritus chief of the division of liver disease, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City chairman of the board, American Liver Foundation.
Alan Franciscus, executive director, Hepatitis C Support Project and editor-in-chief of HCV Advocate, San Francisco.
Thelma King Thiel, chair and CEO, Hepatitis Foundation International.
David Thomas, MD, professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore.
Howard J. Worman, MD, associate professor of medicine and anatomy and cell biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York City.
The American Gastroenterological Association.
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What To Eat Before Donating Plasma
Drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced, healthy diet is always a good choice, but its even more important on the days leading up to plasma donation. Make sure to get a good nights sleep before the day of your donation. Drink about 6 to 8 cups of water the day before and day of donating, and eat a protein- and iron-rich meal within 3 hours of donation.
High-protein foods include beans and legumes, beef, chicken, shrimp, cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt , and seeds and nuts. Broccoli, beef, beans, iron-enriched breakfast cereals, chicken, ham, dark leafy greens, raisins, and watermelon are all high in iron.
Avoid fatty foods like French fries and other fried foods, pizza, or sweets the day you donate, and dont drink alcohol the night before. These can affect your blood tests and prevent you from donating.
Can The Results Of Liver Panel Tests Point To The Presence Of Hepatitis C
A “liver panel” usually includes tests called AST, ALT, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and some others. Abnormal results could show up in many different conditions, not just hepatitis C. And even if the results of a liver panel are normal, you might still have hepatitis C. So, the liver panel alone cannot tell your provider the answer.
Hepatitis C can be diagnosed only by blood tests that are specific to hepatitis C:
In short, if the results of one or more tests on a liver panel are abnormal, generally speaking, the tests should be repeated and confirmed. If the results remain abnormal, your provider should be prompted to look for the cause.
More important than using the liver panel, if you have risks of having been infected with hepatitis C then you should have the specific hepatitis C antibody test to determine if you have hepatitis C infection.
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What Foods Should I Avoid
Everyone should avoid eating a lot of fat, cholesterol, salt and processed sugar, even if their liver is healthy. In addition, those with HCV should limit or avoid alcohol. Drinking alcohol will speed up liver damage.
Eating properly can help decrease some of the symptoms of Hepatitis C, like feeling tired and sick. Drink lots of water for general health benefits. HCV is not a digestive disease diet will not affect the disease. Your provider may put you on a special diet if you have advanced liver disease.
How To Donate Plasma On Your Own
If you’ve never had Hepatitis C, you can donate plasma through your local American Red Cross. Unfortunately, plasma donations can only be made once every 28 days or 13 times a year. However, private plasma donation companies allow individuals to make donations multiple times a week. The minimum wait between two contributions is 24 hours, but you must wait eight weeks before donating plasma if you donate blood.
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What Does High/low Viral Load Mean
Viral load is the amount of virus present in the bloodstream. It is expressed as the amount of viral genetic material per milliliter of blood. The amount of virus does not predict how severe the liver disease is or will become. The level of the viral load does not tell us anything about the risk of liver damage or how sick someone is. In hepatitis C, it matters if virus is present or absent. Some treatment regimens can be shortened if the patient has a low viral load to start with, but most often, treatment regimens are the same for people with high hepatitis C viral loads or low viral loads.
The RNA test is essential for making the diagnosis of hepatitis C infection–having a positive RNA test is the definition of having infection. After the diagnosis is made, the RNA level does not need to be checked over and over unless it is checked during the time that the patient is undergoing treatment. During treatment, regular RNA tests are done to follow the dropping virus level until it reaches an undetectable state. But before treatment and after treatment, repeated RNA testing is not necessary.
Blood Screening In The United States
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration , through the Center for Biologics and Research , is responsible for ensuring the safety of the roughly 19 million units of whole blood donated in the United States each year.
To keep the blood supply safe, the FDA has established regulations to screen donors before a donation and to screen donated blood after it has been received by blood banks. To help with this, an extensive questionnaire is given to donors to collect information about their medical history and any risk factors that may exclude them from donating.
Blood received from donors then undergoes routine screening for the following blood-transmitted infections:
- Hepatitis B
- Zika virus
Any donated blood is quarantined until it is tested and shown to be free of infection.
Due to advanced blood screening practices, the risk of the accidental transmission of hepatitis B and C from contaminated blood is less than one in 500,000 and one in two million transfused units, respectively.
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What Other Conditions Does Blood Screening Identify
donate organs to people who do not have these antibodies.
Before this, organ transplants from people with HCV were allowed, but under the label of increased risk. In 2017, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network reported that doctors were less likely to use organs from increased risk donors.
The OPTN added that this is likely based on a misconception of what the term means, as studies have shown that people who receive organs from increased risk donors have equal or better post-graft survival rates than those with non-increased risk transplants.
The new stress the continuing importance of testing, informed consent from the recipient, and follow-up tests to determine the HCV status of the recipient after transplant.
Plasma Donation In Canada
Canada has one of the safest blood systems in the world, thanks to the strict standards set out in Health Canada’s Food and Drugs Act and Blood Regulations for the collection of blood and plasma.
Both blood and plasma products are vital to the health and well-being of Canadians. However, there are differences in how they are collected, processed and used in the health system.
Learn more about some of the common misunderstandings related to plasma products in Canada by visiting our Myths and facts – plasma donation webpage.
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Hesitations Toward Blood Donation
Although 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, less than 5% do so annually, according to a 2012 study published in the journal Transfusion. Among the commonly cited reasons why people avoid donating is the presumption that they are “medically disqualified” to donate.
Many of these attitudes stem back to the 1970s and 1980s when reports of infection among hemophiliacs given tainted blood fueled fears among donors and recipients alike. During those years, no less than 6,000 hemophiliacs in the United States became infected with HIV, hepatitis, or both.
Although doubts about the safety of the U.S. blood supply have largely subsided due to advances in blood screening, there are some who avoid donating because it may reveal that they havean infection like HIV or hepatitis.
If you have hepatitis and have a type that does not restrict you from donating, it is worth considering given the public need. If you think you might have hepatitiseither due to the presence of symptoms or because of a known exposurebut are fearful of donating because it may confirm your concern, know that the sooner hepatitis is identified, the more sooner you can access treatment that can keep you well and healthy for many years.