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India’s Second Worst-Hit State By Coronavirus Pandemic, Tamil Nadu Launches A Plasma Bank

After conducting successful clinical trials of convalescent plasma therapy, Tamil Nadu has established a plasma bank in Chennai

India’s Second Worst-Hit State By Coronavirus Pandemic, Tamil Nadu Launches A Plasma Bank
  • Plasma bank set-up at Chennai's Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital
  • The plasma bank in Chennai has been established at a cost of Rs. 2.34 crore
  • The infrastructure supports plasma retrieval from 7 people simultaneously

New Delhi: Plasma therapy which involves transfusion of antibodies, that develop in people who have recovered from coronavirus infection, into a critically-ill COVID-19 patient has shown to yield encouraging results in saving lives. After conducting clinical trials of convalescent plasma therapy and witnessing successful results, Tamil Nadu has established the state’s first plasma bank. On Thursday (July 23), Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar inaugurated a plasma bank set-up at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai (Madras Medical College). As quoted by a news agency ANI, speaking at the launch of the plasma bank, Dr Vijaybhaskar, said,

We were earlier conducting the plasma method on a trial basis. Four people in Madurai successfully underwent the process in the early stages.

In an interview with ANI, Principal Health Secretary, J Radhakrishnan informed that in consultation with ICMR, plasma was administered to 26 patients and 24 have recovered. He added,

More than 1.25 lakh people have recovered in the state. People between 18-65 years of age can donate the plasma and based on medical advice we can use the plasma in curing other affected patients.

Also Read: India’s First Plasma Bank Gets Operational By Delhi Government, CM Arvind Kejriwal Says It Will Be Very Helpful Until We Have COVID-19 Vaccine

The plasma bank in Chennai has been set-up at the cost of Rs. 2.34 crore. According to the information shared by Dr Vijaybhaskar on social media, the infrastructure supports plasma retrieval of 500 ml each from seven people simultaneously in 30 minutes.

Dedicating the plasma bank to the state, Dr Vijaybhaskar appealed convalescent patients of COVID-19 to step-up for the noble cause and said, ‘Together, let’s save lives’.

“Patients who recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to donate plasma after 14 days. Patients with comorbidities should not donate plasma. I request people to come forward without fear/apprehension and donate plasma for saving lives”, tweeted Dr Vijaybhaskar.

Also Read: Aam Aadmi Party’s MLA Atishi Marlena Recovers From COVID-19, Donates Plasma To Help Other Critically Infected

The Health Minister also noted that the state government is planning to expand the facility to other hospitals including Stanley Medical College, Omandurar Multispeciality Hospital, Government medical colleges at Salem, Trichy and others.

What Is Plasma Therapy And How Does It Work?

Plasma 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 used by the immune system to identify and neutralise foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses. These antibodies are expected to help critical patients recover.

The effectiveness of plasma therapy has also got a stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of United States.

The procedure of donating plasma and transfusing it into someone’s body is similar to blood transfusion. Plasma from a patient who has recovered from coronavirus infection is taken out and infused Intravenously (IV).

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

Impact Of Coronavirus In Tamil Nadu

Currently, Tamil Nadu is the second worst-hit state in terms of reported COVID-19 infections. On July 22, the state recorded the highest single-day spike of 5,849 infections taking the total number of COVID-19 cases close to 2 lakh (1,86,492). With the surge in infections, the fatality rate is also increasing. The rise in the fatality rate from 0.7 per cent (May 22) to now 1.7 per cent is creating a worrisome situation for the state government. Amidst this, the improving recovery rate that currently stands at 70.6 per cent gives hope.

While all 37 districts of the state are impacted by the pandemic, the capital district of Chennai is the worst affected with the bulk of the 48 per cent of the total cases in the state.

Also Read: As COVID-19 Cases Continue To Spike In Tamil Nadu, Here Is The Lowdown On Its Preparedness To Tackle The Pandemic

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


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