- On July 2, Delhi CM inaugurated India’s first plasma bank at ILBS Hospital
- Currently, the demand for plasma is more than donations at plasma bank
- The nodal officer of recipient hospital will have to find replacement donor
New Delhi: On July 2, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated country’s first plasma bank at ILBS (Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences) Hospital. The Plasma Bank aims to bridge the gap between the plasma donor and coronavirus patients in need of life-saving plasma and help critically-ill patients of COVID-19 recover. However, currently, the demand for plasma has outnumbered the donors following which on Thursday (July 9), the Delhi government ordered that from now onwards any COVID-19 patient at any hospital requiring plasma from the plasma bank will have to first arrange for a replacement donor.
Earlier, CM Kejriwal had informed that patients in need of plasma need not call the helpline or visit the plasma bank on their own. In fact, it will be the duty of the hospital, prescribing plasma therapy, to contact the plasma bank and arrange for the same. Similarly, now as part of the new guideline, the nodal officer of the hospital where a patient, requiring plasma has been admitted, will have to find a replacement donor.
The recipient hospital will have to call its recovered coronavirus patients and request for plasma donation for an existing patient. The replacement donor can be of any blood group but shall meet the eligibility criterion which excludes women who have ever been pregnant, people having weight less than 50 kg, diabetic on insulin, cancer survivor, senior citizens, and people with comorbidities.
The new guideline focusses on maintaining the stock of plasma and ensuring every COVID-19 patient in need of plasma therapy gets it well in time.
A senior resident doctor at ILBS told NDTV that on an average, plasma bank gets 25-30 COVID-19 plasma donors, daily, whereas, there are almost double recipients. Hence, if the plasma bank doesn’t start receiving donors in greater number, there is a chance ILBS will soon run out of plasma.
Giving more information about the new guideline, Dr Meenu Bajpai, Head of the Blood Transfusion Department at ILBS Hospital, told NDTV,
So far, plasma has been given out to over 100 patients and almost the same number of donors has come forward, but a lot more recipients are in line. To maintain stock it is necessary to have a system of replacement donors.
As on July 9, Delhi has reported over 1 lakh cases of COVID of which over 74,000 patients have recovered. Despite the high number of recoveries, the plasma donors are low, as of now.
In a virtual media briefing on Monday (July 6), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had hinted at a shortfall in plasma donation and 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.
CM Kejriwal had urged recovered COVID-19 patients who are eligible to donate plasma to come forward and do the needful so as to address the growing demand for plasma in Delhi and save lives. CM had also 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.
To honour the donors, the Delhi government gives ‘Gaurav Patr’, a certificate of appreciation signed by the Chief Minister.
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