Short Answer: Yes, you can typically switch plasma donation centers. However, most plasma centers only allow permanent switches; you cannot go back and forth regularly between multiple locations. If you would like to switch plasma donation centers and stay within the same company, you’ll need to be set up as a new donor at your preferred center and transfer your information over. To switch to a different plasma company, you will need to visit as a new donor and inform them that you’ve previously donated through a different company. You cannot donate to more than one plasma company at a time. For more details on switching plasma donation centers, see below.
Can I Switch Plasma Donation Centers?
When you donate plasma, you become an established donor at the facility you visit. If you’d later like to switch plasma donation centers, you can follow a process to do so. For example, maybe you initially visited a plasma donation center near work but want to use one closer to home. Or maybe you’re planning a move and would like to switch to a center near your new home.
Rules for Switching Plasma Donation Centers
We called some of the biggest plasma donation centers in the country — including BioLife Plasma Services, Biotest Plasma Center, BPL Plasma, CSL Plasma, and BioMat USA (GRIFOLS) — to ask about switching donation centers. We spoke to representatives in various states including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New York, and Ohio. All of the centers we spoke with said that you can switch to a new plasma donation center, but you cannot switch back and forth between centers on a regular basis. You also cannot donate to more than one plasma company at a time. You will need to choose a permanent center and become an established donor at that location.
Most plasma donation centers do not require you to sign a contract or donate a specific number of times. However, centers do prefer that you make your first two plasma donations at the same center before switching, as you must make at least two donations before your plasma can be used.
If you switch to a plasma center that is part of the same company as your previous center, you can have your information transferred. Just let the new location know the location of your previous center. In some cases, even with your transferred information, you will still be required to undergo new donor setup and screening at the new location.
If you are switching to a new plasma donation company completely, note that information is typically not transferred between companies. You will need to visit your chosen center and go through the new donor process to get established there.
Why You Cannot Donate to Multiple Plasma Centers at Once
Plasma donation centers are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for quality and safety. The FDA allows individuals to donate plasma no more than twice in a seven-day period, with at least two calendar days between donations. This is for the health and safety of the donor as donating too often can make you sick.
Additionally, plasma donation centers follow guidelines established by the International Quality Plasma Program (IQPP) which include tracking individuals who attempt to cross-donate at multiple centers. As part of their donor screening process, plasma companies regularly check for donations with other companies. If you are caught attempting to cross-donate, you may be placed on the National Donor Deferral Registry (NDDR), a database that plasma centers use to keep track of anyone who has been deferred from donating for various reasons.
Things to Consider Before Switching Plasma Centers
Before making a switch, it’s important to research things like compensation for donating. Some plasma companies pay more than others. Even if you’re staying with the same company, most plasma donation companies allow each individual location to set its own compensation rate and run special promotions. Thus, the amount you were being paid at your original center may increase or decrease at your new location.
If you are staying within a company that compensates through rewards points (for example, CSL which compensates using iGive points), the points typically transfer provided you stay within the company. iGive points earned at one CSL plasma donation center will not be forfeited if you switch to another CSL location. However, if you are switching to an entirely different company, any rewards points you have accumulated with one company will not be redeemable at the new one.
Since you can only donate to one center at a time and switching can be a process, it’s worth taking time to explore where you can donate plasma for money and weigh all your options before choosing a center.