Getting Paid For Plasma: Repeat Donors Earning Cash For Blood

In this "gig economy," more and more people are looking for ways to make extra cash.Ever since the financial m...

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 5:50 AM
Updated: Jan 25, 2018 5:50 AM

In this "gig economy," more and more people are looking for ways to make extra cash.

Ever since the financial meltdown of 2008, the cash-for-plasma business has been booming.

Selda Yilmaz of Alta Loma has a full-time job as a biology tutor at a community college. But when a coworker turned her on to the idea of plasma donation, she was more than a little hesitant.

"I would have severe anxiety over the idea of getting poked with a needle," Yilmaz said. "I just decided you know what, I can get compensated and I would also be doing a good deed, helping other people, and getting over my fear of needles."

Photos posted on Yelp showed some incentives for donors at the Red Cross and UCLA Medical Center include cookies, chips, and even movie tickets.

Yilmaz, who says she's donated about 15 to 20 times, says she was $75 for her first two visits and then $50 after that. Then the compensation drops to $25 and $40, which is loaded onto a debit card.

"They don't offer any snacks," she said. "For the most part, you're just compensated with the money."

Hospitals and drug companies buy the plasma to make lifesaving therapies, so for donors who show up eight times a month, anywhere from $250 to $300 is realistic.

One type of donation called a "mobilized white blood cell donation" can pay as much as $800 for a single draw, because it requires injections of a powerful medication that can carry the risk of side effects.

But Yilmaz says she made about $2,000 after recruiting other donors by placing ads on Craigslist.

"Because I took advantage of their buddy bonus program, I was able to earn a thousand dollars just from other people donating," she said.

While Yilmaz was able to use the money for car insurance payments, she says she hasn't donated since mid-December and is unsure whether she will donate again in the future. Studies show donating too frequently can potentially weaken the immune system.

"I guess I don't know what the long-term effects are," she said.

Occasional donations of straight plasma or whole blood are overwhelmingly considered safe and potentially lifesaving for recipients.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 449492

Reported Deaths: 6047
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin933031483
Ramsey40134741
Dakota33159344
Anoka31061365
Washington20220230
Stearns17922188
St. Louis13730242
Scott1199496
Wright11656104
Olmsted1054775
Sherburne822065
Carver696436
Clay653981
Rice610769
Kandiyohi554871
Blue Earth543233
Crow Wing484877
Otter Tail457967
Chisago453336
Benton421086
Winona390046
Douglas375766
Nobles371746
Mower367829
Goodhue349259
Polk328958
McLeod325745
Morrison312145
Beltrami311048
Lyon302538
Becker286239
Itasca285243
Isanti282941
Carlton280943
Steele27489
Pine267013
Freeborn247923
Todd232230
Nicollet225436
Brown215534
Mille Lacs214545
Le Sueur210715
Cass207723
Meeker200033
Waseca190116
Wabasha17243
Martin170826
Roseau165717
Hubbard149538
Redwood139827
Renville137540
Houston137213
Dodge13544
Chippewa131632
Cottonwood127718
Fillmore12435
Wadena120117
Rock110312
Sibley10857
Aitkin108333
Faribault106716
Watonwan10678
Pennington99715
Kanabec98018
Pipestone94723
Yellow Medicine93715
Murray8935
Jackson86010
Swift83518
Pope7415
Marshall70315
Stevens7018
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake64915
Wilkin6269
Koochiching59710
Lincoln4871
Big Stone4603
Unassigned43668
Grant4298
Norman4248
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37220
Red Lake3174
Traverse2523
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307088

Reported Deaths: 4340
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46016457
Linn17864278
Scott15566166
Black Hawk13875238
Woodbury13040177
Johnson1216051
Dubuque11434153
Pottawattamie9047113
Dallas896572
Story871235
Webster470172
Cerro Gordo467871
Sioux456157
Clinton451863
Warren449038
Marshall428662
Buena Vista393829
Muscatine392278
Des Moines383641
Plymouth351468
Wapello346598
Jasper324059
Lee318131
Marion305752
Jones272649
Henry264831
Carroll255934
Bremer246848
Crawford232324
Washington220332
Boone219517
Benton210150
Mahaska195037
Jackson193031
Tama188758
Dickinson186227
Kossuth174844
Delaware174536
Clay169820
Wright165224
Fayette163623
Hamilton160730
Buchanan160423
Winneshiek156919
Harrison156762
Hardin155529
Cedar154219
Clayton151548
Butler149224
Page144915
Floyd139836
Cherokee139227
Mills136916
Lyon135732
Poweshiek133924
Hancock130724
Allamakee129628
Iowa126022
Calhoun12299
Grundy121626
Jefferson121325
Madison12129
Winnebago119729
Mitchell116235
Louisa115430
Cass113942
Chickasaw112212
Sac111115
Emmet110831
Appanoose110740
Union109222
Humboldt105819
Guthrie103424
Shelby103427
Franklin102718
Unassigned9410
Palo Alto90910
Montgomery86423
Keokuk85626
Howard84419
Monroe81319
Clarke7987
Pocahontas77711
Ida74730
Davis69421
Greene6947
Adair69020
Lucas6589
Monona64616
Osceola6419
Worth6133
Taylor5949
Fremont5176
Van Buren49713
Decatur4934
Ringgold44311
Wayne41721
Audubon4158
Adams2973
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
10° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: -7°
Mason City
Clear
11° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: -7°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: -6°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
10° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: -5°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
12° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: -5°
A cold end to the workweek
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

RPD, Marine ROTC duke it out in physical challenge

Image

Century defeats John Marshall in early season matchup

Image

RCTC women's basketball preps for first game in almost two years

Image

Semper Fi, RPD meets Marines

Image

Can your employer force you to get a Covid-19 vaccine?

Image

Aaron's Thursday Night Forecast

Image

Mayo Clinic holds virtual town hall

Image

More Iowans will be eligible for vaccine in February

Image

RPD and Marines train together

Image

New speeding laws

Community Events