Donating plasma shouldn’t supplement income for students

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I don’t know about you, but I would not trust some 18-year-old kid who lacks sufficient confidence to poke and prod at me with a needle. 

Technicians at plasma donation centers have told me that anyone out of high school can work there. Yes, they are required to complete training on site, but they are only as good as their trainers.

Not only does the donation process take a physical toll on the body if done too often, but also an inexperienced employee can give the patient unflattering “track marks” and bruises as a parting gift.

I’m not going to preach about how donating plasma is the legal form of prostitution when we all have the right to do what we wish with our bodies. However, the next time you want to donate plasma, whether it is at CLS Plasma, Biomat USA or our very own Biolife, remember this little story about my dear, innocent mother. 

My mother left a plasma donation center with a sour taste in her mouth when — after hours of waiting — they denied her and wouldn’t explain why. A day or so later, she got a phone call from an employee at the center, telling her she had syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease. She was infuriated, shocked, embarrassed and couldn’t believe what she was hearing. 

Not only had she wasted time worrying and wondering how this could have happened after being married for more than 20 years, but my father was also livid. He assumed my mother had cheated on him. 

It wasn’t until a few weeks — weeks! — later that they called her back and told her they made a mistake. 

Seriously? If you were going to tell someone he or she has an STD, wouldn’t you double-check your facts first? I understand that nobody is perfect, but when it comes to heath care, institutions in the medical field need to be pretty close. Accuracy is key — one trait that many plasma donation centers lack.

Being a working full-time student myself, I understand; it’s hard, and I’m still broke. To boost your income a little, sell your old clothes at Coyote Exchange or something. Donating plasma should never be considered in anyone’s search for supplemental income because the employees are under qualified and the risks outweigh the rewards.