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'I need gas right now': Valley residents donating plasma to make ends meet

Plasma donors get paid about $50-100 dollars each visit. Each visit takes about an hour.

PHOENIX — "I need gas right now," said Valley resident Jason Price, whose one of the many locals donating their plasma in hopes of offsetting the financial hardships brought on by inflation. 

The Biomat USA Plasma Center in Phoenix said it has noticed an increase in Plasma donations, which people get paid for.

For Price, a donor at Biomat USA, money is the driving factor. He said he first donated plasma in September after losing his job.

He expected to stop after finding a job in May, but expensive gas makes for an expensive commute. So he continues to pump.

“Throughout the year, it's very cyclical, depending on what people have going on in their lives,” said Vlasta Hakes, the Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Grifols, the company that owns Biomat USA Plasma Center.

Another national plasma donation company, CSL Plasma said, “Our plasma donation centers are seeing plasma donations growing in local markets – in part due to donors appreciating the payments they receive to help with additional costs, but also we are seeing a seasonal increase and donors returning after COVID-19, as we recover collections from the impact of the pandemic.”

Marcell Cruze said he’s been a plasma donor for two years. He first started donating plasma at the Biomat USA Plasma Center to get an additional income.

“It beats some of the alternatives you could be doing,” said Cruze.

Plasma is the largest part of your blood. It makes up more than half (about 55%) of its overall content. When separated from the rest of the blood, plasma is a light yellow liquid. Plasma carries water, salts and enzymes.

The FDA says people can give plasma up to two times a week. It is used to make life-saving medicine.

“We need a lot of donations, it takes up to 1,200 donations to make enough medicine to treat one patient for one year,” said Hakes.

Donors get paid about $50-100 dollars each visit. Each visit takes about an hour.

“It’s really easy. I think the hardest part is when you get the first poke with the needle,” said Price.

In order to donate Plasma, donors must meet certain requirements.

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