Been donating in Ames for 3+ years now. Money is great to have for sure.
-It's $20 on your first visit of the week and $30 on your second. Has to be in the same week. Sometimes they run specials where its $20/$40.
-The Saline they run in at the end is definately cold. My first two time I had issues with getting light headed during this part. They slowed the rate of return down and I've had no problems since. I have to tell them each time, but that's no biggie.
-Be sure to eat something high in protien the night before or the day of donation. I'm currently on the DL for low protein and have to wait until next week to be tested again. Never had this happen before so must be a fluke deal.
-Yes, definately stay hydrated the day of donation. It will make the process go much more quickly.
-If you are the athletic type, or currently participating in any sports, you might want to ask them about getting your e-chart tagged with "athletic pulse". My resting pulse is often times low and I get asked if I'm a runner (which I'm not). If you don't have the "athletic pulse" tag and your pulse is lower than normal, they'll make you wait 5-10 minutes and see the nurse to check it again.
That's all I can think of for pointers. I usually watch a movie or read a book...makes the time pass quickly. Also, your donation amount is based on your weight so that will determine how long you are there.
It didn't effect my immune system at all and I did it for 3 years straight. It was great money and gave me an hour or so to study that I was getting paid for. Great idea. I would still do it today if there was a biolife in my town.
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