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COVID-19: Muted Response To Plasma Donation Call, Doctors Say Unfounded Fears Keeping People Away

According to officials, only 320 people have donated plasma in Delhi since the drive for donating plasma was initiated on July 2 while over 1 lakh patients have recovered till July 23

COVID-19: Muted Response To Plasma Donation Call, Doctors Say Unfounded Fears Keeping People Away
Highlights
  • Only 60 of the allotted lot of 200 patients received plasma: LNJP Hospital
  • Doctors say fewer plasma donations are happening due to misinformation
  • Young people in the age group of 20-40, are donating their plasma: Doctor

New Delhi: The response to a call for donating convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients in Delhi has been “lukewarm”, doctors said on Friday and attributed it to unfounded apprehensions about associated health risks and the tendency to put off donation for any future need of family members. Just about 320 people have donated plasma in Delhi since the initiative began on July 2, whereas more than 1,00,000 COVID-19 patients have recovered till July 23, according to officials.

Also Read: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Urges Recovered COVID-19 Patients To Donate Plasma, Call Them Heroes

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the government would provide plasma for free and people do not need to buy or sell it. The chief minister and other senior members of the government have repeatedly appealed to people, who have recovered from COVID-19, to donate plasma to other patients. But the response to the calls has been muted at the first-of-its-kind ‘plasma bank’, inaugurated by Mr. Kejriwal at ILBS here on July 2, and another one opened a week ago at LNJP Hospital, a dedicated coronavirus facility. A senior official of the facility told PTI,

At ILBS, while on the opening day, 10 donors had come, mostly the hospital staff who had earlier been infected with COVID-19, now the daily average is about 15, which makes it around 300 donations in total till date, a rather lukewarm response.

This is despite the fact that to-and-fro transportation facilities and food are provided to the donors at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS). The official, also a doctor, said,

The main reason behind this low response…is that people are still feeling apprehensive even though there is no risk involved.

At LNJP (Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan) Hospital’s plasma bank, 30 donors have volunteered till July 23, but 11 were rejected, as they could not fulfil the eligibility guidelines. Medical Director, LNJP Hospital, Dr Suresh Kumar, told PTI,

So, effectively, we are left with 19 donations which is not a very encouraging number, and some of which have been used already. But it is heartening that young people, mostly in the age group of 20-40, are donating their plasma.

Also Read: Delhi Government Updates Plasma Policy, Recipient Hospital Needs To Find A Replacement Donor

He said, once two young sisters in their 20s, both of whom had been admitted at LNJP Hospital and recovered from COVID-19, had come to donate plasma, but their haemoglobin level was found below average limit, so they could not. Both ILBS and LNJP Hospital are under the Delhi government. Asked why such a low response despite the chief minister and his colleagues urging people to donate plasma, Dr Kumar said there seem to be multiple factors. He said,

Though there are no side effects as such, but still many have apprehensions that something will happen if they donate plasma. Secondly, many COVID patients who have recovered, are apparently putting off donation so that they can offer it to their family members, in case they get infected, and the fear of near and dear ones getting infected is very palpable.

A staffer at the LNJP plasma bank, on the condition of anonymity, said that mostly LNJP Hospital staff members who had recovered from COVID-19 were coming to donate plasma in earlier days. At present, out of the 430 admitted patients there, 90 are in ICU and four on ventilator, the medical director said. As per the last approval by authorities, the LNJP Hospital was permitted to do plasma therapy on 200 COVID-19 patients. “Only 60 patients have received plasma out of the allotted lot,” he said.

Dr Kumar and the ILBS official appealed to people to come forward and donate, and allayed all apprehensions associated with convalescent plasma (COPLA) donation. For donors, there are some strict criteria and counselling and screening is done for them before actual donation process begins, so, about two to two-and-a-half hours is the total time per donor. A senior doctor at the ILBS said,

Also, we do TTI (Transfusion Transmissible Infections) tests. So, the donor should not have HIV, hepatitis B or C, syphilis among other ailments. The donor also should not have any co-morbidities like diabetes, hyper tension or renal problems.

Each donor, a person who has recently recovered from COVID-19, develops antibodies, which is transferred to the recipient through plasma. Dr Kumar said,

Each person can donate 250-500 ml of plasma. We give first dosage of 250 ml to the recipient, and if needed second dosage of 250 ml after 24 hours.

People aged 18-60, who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and showed no symptoms for 14 days can go for donation, subject to strict guidelines for eligible donors. And, someone weighing less than 50 kg; women who have ever been pregnant, cancer survivors, and those with kidney, heart, lung or liver diseases are not eligible to donate plasma.

Delhi recorded 1,041 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the tally in the city to over 1.27 lakh, while the death toll from the disease rose to 3,745, authorities said. The active cases tally on Thursday was 14,554, down from 14,954 the previous day. According to a bulletin, 1,09,065 patients have recovered, been discharged or migrated till July 23. Dr Kumar said that when he takes a round in wards and ICU, “some patients, who are serious, and their relatives, ask us as to when will be they be getting plasma.” “People must show large-heartedness and help others,” he added.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: What Is Convalescent Plasma Therapy And How Effective Is It In Treating COVID-19 Patients?

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

23,96,06,768Cases
20,13,42,617Active
3,33,82,100Recovered
48,82,051Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 23,96,06,768 and 48,82,051 have died; 20,13,42,617 are active cases and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 4:15 am.

India

3,40,37,592 16,862Cases
2,03,6782,908Active
3,33,82,100 19,391Recovered
4,51,814 379Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,37,592 confirmed cases including 4,51,814 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,03,678 and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,86,280 2,384

33,157 6

64,13,418 2,343

1,39,705 35

Kerala

48,29,944 9,246

96,421 1,802

47,06,856 10,952

26,667 96

Karnataka

29,82,399 310

9,607 43

29,34,870 347

37,922 6

Tamil Nadu

26,83,396 1,259

15,451 199

26,32,092 1,438

35,853 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,122 540

6,588 27

20,38,248 557

14,286 10

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,008 12

135 4

16,86,976 16

22,897

West Bengal

15,79,012 530

7,576 81

15,52,491 601

18,945 10

Delhi

14,39,311 28

337 1

14,13,885 29

25,089

Odisha

10,33,809 521

4,890 38

10,20,645 477

8,274 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,614 16

203 4

9,91,841 20

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,382 8

42 6

9,45,386 2

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,244 34

215 20

8,15,943 14

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,669 12

111 1

7,82,035 11

10,523

Haryana

7,71,035 16

105 158

7,60,881

10,049 174

Bihar

7,26,016 8

42 6

7,16,313 2

9,661

Telangana

6,68,618 168

4,171 40

6,60,512 207

3,935 1

Assam

6,05,847 207

3,646 157

5,96,263 362

5,938 2

Punjab

6,01,971 33

234 11

5,85,199 16

16,538 6

Jharkhand

3,48,406 11

130 4

3,43,141 7

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,729 28

175 22

3,36,157 6

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,834 93

935 11

3,25,473 104

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,113 182

1,387 5

2,16,011 173

3,715 4

Goa

1,77,356 68

679 27

1,73,342 39

3,335 2

Puducherry

1,27,259 49

647 4

1,24,763 53

1,849

Manipur

1,22,432 69

1,444 15

1,19,099 84

1,889

Mizoram

1,10,719 901

13,601 435

96,744 1,332

374 4

Tripura

84,295 4

110 8

83,369 12

816

Meghalaya

82,734 87

892 31

80,411 115

1,431 3

Chandigarh

65,295 10

32 5

64,443 15

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,958 4

202 22

54,476 26

280

Sikkim

31,722 6

224 1

31,108 7

390

Nagaland

31,516 9

230 8

30,613 17

673

Ladakh

20,867 6

44 2

20,615 4

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,675

3 1

10,668 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

2 0

10,312

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,640 3

10 1

7,501 2

129

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