Give and Take 

Plasma and blood donations increase in tough times.

For several years, Memphian Kenny Davis has been bringing in a little extra cash through regular blood donations at the Tennessee Blood Services on Poplar. But lately, Davis hasn't been the only one.

"There's more and more people coming to the blood bank now that the economy is bad," says Davis, who is unemployed. "I'm seeing more people who say they haven't been there before. It used to be a lot of repeat customers."

click to enlarge news_flyby2-1.jpg

Though he didn't have statistics, Dino Grisanti with the Tennessee Blood Services confirmed an increase in donors.

Davis receives $25 each time he donates, and blood donations can be given every eight weeks. Paid blood donations are collected for medical research and therapeutic purposes rather than for direct patient care. Volunteer donations, through organizations such as Lifeblood, are used for patient transfusions.

"The Food and Drug Administration regulates that, because they want to make sure what's going into another human is safe," says Jennifer Balink with Lifeblood. "If donors are compensated, they might not be as truthful about preexisting conditions than a volunteer donor would be."

Since blood can only be donated six times a year, many people hit by the economic slump have turned to paid plasma donations as well. Plasma, the liquid portion of blood, may be donated two times in a seven-day period so long as the donations are 48 hours apart.

According to ZLB Plasma spokesperson Christine Kuhinka, plasma donations have climbed from 10 million donations nationwide in 2005 to 18.5 million donations last year.

ZLB Plasma is a national company with a donation center on Park Avenue in East Memphis. Most plasma centers pay about $30 per donation. Kuhinka says the donation process takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

"Once people start donating, they realize this is a life-saving activity," Kuhinka says. "Plasma is used to manufacture biotherapies that treat serious and rare conditions, like coagulation disorders, immune deficiencies, and genetic emphysema, and for wound healing in critical-care facilities."

To donate, individuals must be between 18 and 59 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and have a clean bill of health.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Historic Troubles

      Report alleges lack of training, oversight at Tennessee Historical Commission.
    • Liberty & Safety

      City surveillance methods on trial this week.

Blogs

News Blog

Memphis Officials Partner with Gun Lobby

News Blog

FedEx Employees Indicted on Mail Theft

News Blog

DMC Calls for Artists to Enhance Downtown Alleys

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

This Week At The Cinema: Rebels, Dinosaurs, and Gershwin

We Saw You

Cooper-Young Festival

News Blog

State Suspended Purple Haze's Liquor License

Hungry Memphis

Trader Joe's Tempest in a Tote Bag

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: F*ck

From My Seat

Star Power

Hungry Memphis

Saucy Chicken Opens Today

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bianca Phillips

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation