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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

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Can you really earn $80 by donating plasma?


I noticed a couple of billboards in my neighborhood that claim you can earn $80 by donating your plasma. I donated plasma many years ago, as a flat broke (and thirsty for beer) college student, and earned, like, $25, so I was curious if the going rate for plasma donation had spiked to $80. That seems like a lot of money.

So, I called the number on the billboard, which connected me to Talecris, an international biotherapeutics company with 49 plasma donation sites in (mostly) poor neighborhoods in United States cities.

The Talecris customer service representative for the Milwaukee location was unbelievably cheerful and full of information. I suspected that you didn't get the $80 all at one time, and she confirmed this. You get $35 the first day, and $45 the next.

The process takes about three hours over the course of two days. To donate plasma, you have to be between 18 and 65 (guess my pre-schoolers can't finally contribute to our family's expenses ... kidding), have valid photo identification and pass a medical and physical exam.

Every morning, donors are chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can call to see if the spots are full for the day, but not to sign up.

As for me, I think I'll pass on this for now. If I'm going to donate body fluids, I'm going for the big bucks. There's way more money in breast milk and sperm donation, neither of which I can currently accommodate, but you never know.


Talkbacks

kahuna32 | July 28, 2010 at 1:43 a.m. (report)

Plasma donation can't happen back to back either. I currently am donating in Eau Claire, and you can donate 2x a week, with 24-48 hour intervals in between. So for example you can donate on Monday at say, 10:00 am, but then u cant donate again until Thursday. Also, up here the donation centers are closed on the weekends, so schedule your donation pattern wisely

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Z_boy | Jan. 17, 2008 at 2:27 p.m. (report)

How much does sperm get? From what I understand, it's much less painful than giving blood, and it doesn't leave you feeling woozy afterward.

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TheyThink | Jan. 17, 2008 at 10:31 a.m. (report)

Once again proving that outdoor advertising really works!

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