In times of economic hardship, people often look for alternative revenue sources, especially if they live in an area where work is scarce. One of the areas people often look to is how to donate blood for money, as it is something most people are familiar with from movies or television shows. It’s true that, if you are a suitable donor, and if there is a blood bank in your area interested in paying for your blood, it can be a good source of income. Before you rush out to donate, however, there are a few things you should know.
For one, not all blood banks pay for blood donations. In fact, the vast majority are donation-driven, with regular drives attracting donors who fill their reservoirs. In certain areas, or during certain times, these banks may be willing to pay donors, but generally, they simply ask people to donate out of the kindness of their heart. While you will get the warm feeling of having potentially helped save a life, and likely a cookie and some juice, you won’t get money from most of these places. For this reason, it’s important to call ahead to any facility you’re considering to see whether they pay for blood or if they are donation-based.
Next, make sure that you match the criteria needed to make you a suitable donor. You should never lie to any questions asked, as it can jeopardize you getting paid, put others at risk, and potentially open you up to liability. You should not try to donate blood for money if you are currently sick, if you have any blood-borne illnesses, if you pass out around needles, if you have low iron levels, or if you have been to any countries where diseases like dengue fever or malaria are currently an issue. Check ahead of time to see the list of requirements at any facility you choose to go to, as some may have even stricter criteria. For example, some facilities do not allow gay men who have engaged in sexual activity with other men to give blood.
Don’t expect to get rich when you donate blood for money. Most facilities pay around $20 US Dollars (USD) to $40 USD for a single donation, and some will allow you to donate up to twice a week. More than this can cause health risks, as your body needs a certain amount of blood to function at full health. Most facilities stamp you in some way to ensure you aren’t donating more than is healthy at any given time. Many facilities pay a smaller amount the first time you donate, and pay more for subsequent visits, once they know your blood is useful to them.
Most places are actually paying for plasma, the binding agent in blood, not the blood itself, although some will pay for blood platelets. Generally though, keep in mind that you won’t make more than $200 USD a month at the very most. The one rare exception to this is if you happen to have blood that is of a specific medical interest, in which case you may be offered substantially more for your donations, sometimes as much as $200 USD per donation.