- Plasma therapy has shown encouraging results in treating COVID-19 patients
- Plasma therapy is suggested for critically-ill patients of COVID-19
- A recovered patient can donate 500ml of plasma and help save someone’s life
New Delhi: Plasma therapy as a potential treatment for critically-ill patients of COVID-19 has been gaining ground. In the absence of a cure and a vaccine against the Novel Coronavirus, convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) is being looked upon and so far, the results have been encouraging. Delhi government is making use of plasma therapy on a large scale and has even set-up India’s first ‘Plasma Bank’ at ILBS (Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences) Hospital. According to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, with the inauguration of Plasma Bank, the demand for life-saving plasma has increased but there isn’t enough supply. For the same, in an online media briefing on Monday (July 6), CM Kejriwal urged recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma.
There is no cure for the Coronavirus until a vaccine is developed but our trials have shown that plasma therapy can help improve the condition of moderate patients significantly, said CM Kejriwal.
Plasma Therapy involves transfusion of antibodies from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 (convalescent coronavirus patient) into a critical patient. The therapy is based on the principle that the blood of a recovered patient is rich in antibodies needed to combat COVID-19. Antibodies are Y shaped proteins produced by a human body and are used by the immune system to identify and neutralise foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses.
CM Kejriwal also spoke about the country’s first plasma bank which was inaugurated on July 2 and noted that in the last few days, demand has surpassed the supply of plasma and if this continues, the existing stock of plasma will soon be exhausted. He said,
In the last four-five days, there has been an increased demand for plasma but a short supply of it meaning that the number of people who need plasma is more than those coming forward to donate it. If the number of donors does not increase, then the plasma supply/in stock will dwindle.
With folded hands, CM Kejriwal urged the recovered patients to come forward in large numbers and donate plasma which can save someone’s life. He informed that donating plasma doesn’t cause either weakness or pain. Calling plasma donation a selfless service to society and addressing the fear that going back to the hospital means contracting the Novel Coronavirus again, CM clarified,
We will make arrangements for your pick up and drop back to the home. We have set up the plasma bank at the ILBS hospital which is a non-COVID hospital so there is nothing to worry about.
CM Kejriwal also informed that his team is reaching out to convalescent patients and requesting them to donate plasma. He said if you receive such a call please don’t refuse. Further, CM Kejriwal appealed hospitals to give counselling to patients who have recovered from the contagious disease.
Tell them to donate plasma after 14 days of recovering from the disease, said CM Kejriwal.
During a media briefing, CM Kejriwal also shared a call recording of two people who had recently recovered from COVID-19 and he had spoken to. CM Kejriwal spoke to 43-year-old Ravinder and 37-year-old Karan, two of the patients who have recovered, are eligible to donate plasma and have agreed to do so. The Chief Minister appreciated them for the move and said,
They all are our heroes. They are doing it to save someone’s life and they are my hope. Society, especially RWAs (Resident Welfare Associations) should respect them.
To honour the donors, the Delhi government gives ‘Gaurav Patr’, a certificate of appreciation signed by the Chief Minister.