By Robby Gadd, Chattanooga, Tenn., — Students who frequently donate plasma may be at higher risk of the flu, but that does not mean they should stop donating all together, Carol Oglesby, assistant director of Student Health Services, said.
“After a while of donating plasma it can start to affect your immune system,” Oglesby said.
Students can earn up to $300 monthly by donating plasma at CSL Plasma located at 1501 Riverside Drive.
CSL Plasma defines plasma as the straw colored liquid that carries the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Plasma donation companies primarily use plasma to create plasma-derived biotherapies that are designed to replace body fluids, antibodies and clotting factors.
“It’s great that giving plasma helps out so many people, but I honestly do it mostly for the money,” senior Brandon Chord, Cleveland, Tenn., said. “That’s how I pay for my gas.”
Oglesby said, “Cut back a little bit. Let your arm heal and the protein in your body build back up before you do it again; especially during flu season.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated.
The CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months receive a flu vaccine.
Student Health Services offers flu shots to students for $15.
According to flu.gov, around five-20 percent of the American population contracts the flu virus each year. The website also states that flu season usually starts in fall and peaks around January and February.
There are ways to donate plasma during flu-season and still stay healthy, Oglesby said.
She recommends students hydrate before and after donating plasma. She also said maintaining a healthy diet is an important component to a strong immune system.
CSL plasma requires new donors to bring a valid form of government issued identification, proof of local residency and proof of Social Security number to the first donation.
The donating process is safe, Oglesby said. CSL Plasma professionals use new, sterile equipment during each donation and give health screenings to all new donors.

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