As a person who is considering making a plasma donation, one question that is almost certainly bound to be bothering you is the one as to whether donating plasma hurts. If the answer is in the affirmative (that is, if donating plasma hurts), you are likely to be keen on knowing just how badly it hurts, and if there is anything that can be done to ameliorate the pain. Those are the questions we will be answering in this article.
Yes or no – does donating plasma hurt?
The answer here is ‘yes’. Donating plasma does hurt – but we have to hasten and hard that it is not really very painful. The only part in the plasma donation process where one is really expected to encounter (just a small amount of) pain is the part where the needle is inserted. The needle in question turns out to be one that is slightly bigger than the one that is used in standard injections. This then means that having it inserted is likely to cause slightly more pain than one feels during a standard injection. But the pain is not too much — and it is definitely not the sort of pain that would make someone who was already considering making a plasma donation reconsider the decision.
The plasma donation process and the pain in it
In the plasma donation process, blood is firstly drawn from the donor’s body. The blood is then taken to a machine that separates the plasma component from the blood (the plasma is the pale yellow liquid component). The plasma is then taken for further processing, in order to make potentially life-saving therapeutic products. Those are therapeutic products that can be used to treat hemophiliacs, people who suffer from burns, people with poor immunity and people who suffer from shock. What remains of the blood (after the removal of the plasma component) is returned to the body. The slightly painful part of the process is where a needle is inserted, in order to make it possible for the blood to be drawn. But as we noted earlier, the pain is not too much. The insertion of the needle hurts, but not too much.
Can the pain associated with plasma donation be ameliorated?
As we have already noted and reiterated, the pain associated with plasma donation is not too much. We may also add that the pain that is experienced by a donor seems to go down with subsequent plasma donations. Thus, after the first plasma donation session, you tend to find the subsequent sessions less hurtful. There are nonetheless some practical ways in which the pain can be mitigated a bit.
One strategy that works quite well when it comes to ameliorating the slight pain that is associated with plasma donation is that of ensuring that you are well hydrated, before proceeding to make the donation. This is, in any event, one of the guidelines you are supposed to follow, in the plasma donation process. If you are well hydrated, your blood will be thinner, and this should make the plasma donation process considerably less painful.
Another strategy that may be of some help, when it comes to reducing the pain that is associated with the donation of plasma is that of scheduling the donations at times when the temperatures are low (outside). It has been observed that donating plasma at such times (for instance, in the mornings and in the evenings) substantially reduces the pain that is experienced.
As yet another pain amelioration strategy, you will notice that in plasma donation centers, the donors are often supplied with squeezing devices. By pumping their hands using these squeezing devices, they are able to reduce the pain that is experienced in the plasma donation process.