CSL Plasma in Stadium Village will begin paying plasma donors with Visa Debit cards beginning June 6, continuing an industry trend that has developed in recent years.
Plasma donors spend about an hour at the center each time they donate blood plasma, the portion of the blood comprised of anti-clotting platelets and oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Many donors get basic spending money from their donations.
The average compensation rate per donation is between $25 and $40, said Kara Flynn, spokeswoman for the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association, an advocacy organization for plasma collection agencies. Compensation varies with body weight, as heavier people can donate more plasma than lighter donors.
CSL Plasma spokesman Scott Newkirk would not comment on the switch, citing “the competitive nature” of the plasma donation
BioLife, a national company similar to CSL Plasma with 60 plasma donation centers, was the first company of its kind to switch to compensation in the form of a debit card in 2007, spokesman Andrew Lewis said.
The closest BioLife location to the University of Minnesota is in Maplewood, Minn.
Lewis cited convenience for donors — the ability to shop online, for example — and eliminating the risk of cash theft from the centers as reasons for the switch.
“The Visa partnership ensures that our donors can use their cards with numerous merchants and ATMs, and the program has been received positively,” he said in a statement.
There are more than 400 plasma donation centers in the United States, most of which compensate donors, Flynn said.