Why Recovered Covid-19 People Should Not Be Afraid Of Donating Plasma
Though experts said plasma donor numbers are picking up momentum, more donors are needed, and soon. Blood banks in town say patients treated refuse to donate since they are reluctant to return to the hospital.
Convalescent plasma treatment includes collecting plasma from recovering patients 21-28 days upon discharge and administering it into a Covid-19 patient who is seriously ill. In critical patients, the antibodies produced in a recovering patient tend to suppress the virus. A patient recovered may donate up to four months after discharge once in every 15 days.
Why Are People Afraid of Donating Plasma
Head of Transfusion Medicine Dr Rinku Bhatia said that she had called over 250 recovering patients at Nanavati hospital, which was first in Mumbai to receive a plasma licence. Just seven are plasma donors. “I tell them when I call a donor that anticorps will help others fight the disease. I called patients and asked them that there are elderly people on the ventilator, we’ve tried drugs and antibiotics and now maybe just plasma treatments can help,” Bhatia said.
Many patients refuse due to the fear of going back to a hospital where they spent several days healing from Covid-19. In some instances, patients say they moved outside of Mumbai to their home state. “Though the family bluntly declines for donation in many cases,” Bhatia said.
Dr Om Srivastava, an authority on infectious disease, who leads the plasma therapy trial with BMC, said plasma donation is the hour’s need. “The number of patients treated is massive but there are less than 100 plasma units available in town. Using plasma will support vital patients when the time is right, “he added.
Why Plasma Is Needed
BMC has so far used plasma treatment on 20 Covid-19 patients, 19 of which were treated and one expired. Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said civic hospitals have been requested to start consulting patients during their care. “We have urged hospitals to stay in contact with patients and create a relationship, even after discharge. Local ward bureaux were directed to do the same. When an officer calls for health checks, a patient gains trust in the procedure,” said Kakani.
Many who plan to donate would be requested to undergo tests for infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis at local clinics. Those with negative tests will be requested to go to the hospital for plasma donation.
It takes 30 minutes for plasmapheresis to progress. The blood of the recipient passes a system extracting the plasma and redirecting the remaining blood back into the bloodstream of the donor. Every donor will donate 400-500 ml of plasma, which will benefit two patients. Dr Mohammed Faisal, Project Platina’s manager, said they are treating some patients with any symptoms in Covid-19.
This provides for more antibodies. “We’ve got a list of 600 patients …… we’ve begun naming them,” he stated. People with untreated diabetes are not liable for more than two co-morbidities, and women who have had an abortion. A 55-year-old man on minimally – intrusive ventilator help took advantage of plasma in Nagpur on Wednesday, after a donor came forward. Doctors also said his health has changed after the first injection of plasma.
Hence, people should not be afraid of donating plasma and instead should do everything in their power to help others who are suffering in any way we can. After all, only together as a community can we hope to overcome this deadly pandemic.