BioLife a lucrative, semi-risky part-time job

Sometimes working a part-time job while balancing a full-time class load doesn’t seem to pay off. After spending numerous hours studying, it’s not always easy to spend the rest of the hours working for a rather small paycheck.

Because of this, some students turn to BioLife.

BioLife, a part of Baxter Healthcare Corporation, is a plasma-donating service. It operates collection service facilities all across the United States and Australia.

The donated plasma is manufactured into a variety of life-saving products used for serious disorder treatment and the prevention and treatment of diseases such as Hepatitis B.

According to the location manager, approximately 60 percent of Mount Pleasant donors are college students.

Junior Kris VanderWilp is a regular donor who began in September 2010 and has donated around a hundred times since then.

“It’s easy money,” VanderWilp said. “Fifty dollars for three hours of your time.”

After making the first donation, the donor receives a debit card in which all the money will be transferred. Once the donor is given the card, he or she is responsible for maintaining the card.

The donation center will also run bonus specials depending on how many donations are needed at that location. Currently, after donating five times in one month, there is a $10 bonus, and after donating seven times in one month, there is a $20 bonus.

After Kris became a regular donor, he influenced his roommates, senior Terry Quillan and freshman Eric Rose, to donate as well.

“[It’s dangerous] if you’re not smart about it,” Rose said.

His parents only want him to make a donation once a week because they believe it may be dangerous.

If a donor is not careful, there can be short-term health side effects. When a needle is inserted multiple times in search of a good vein, it can cause bruising of the skin. Also, the body has lost a large quantity of blood plasma in a short period of time, so the donor may experience nausea, dizziness or fainting. Likewise, the body will need energy to quickly regenerate new plasma, which may cause hunger pangs and fatigue.

However, Quillan, a health fitness major, believes there may be long-term physical benefits of donating plasma. According to him, there is an anticoagulant that circulates when your blood is recycled back into your body, which may help from getting blood clots.

Either way, the students plan on donating for the remainder of the school year.


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  1. 1

    Poor reporting. How about some facts from BioLife, rather than anecdotal comments from a single individual? I’m not affiliated with BL in any way shape or form- but have done enough research that it’s NOT ‘risky’. You can’t donate more than twice in a 7 day period- giving yourself ample time to ‘rejuvenate’ from any negative side effects- almost all which would be from not following the BL recommendations concerning nutrition. No one should begin without doing their own research.

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