As the second wave of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc all around with the virus infecting over 3,50,000 people and more daily over the last couple of days, the demand for plasma is also seeing an exponential high.
Taking cue of the surge in demand for plasma for treatment of COVID-19 patients, Government of India has also notified a set of set of Dos and Don’ts for plasma donors.
WHAT IS CONVALESCENT PLASMA THERAPY?
The human blood consists of four main components – red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma. Plasma helps the blood to clot and supports immunity.
When a person contracts an infection, like COVID-19, the body produces antibodies (secreted by immune cells in the plasma) to attack the virus. Even after recovery, these antibodies continue to remain in the blood, for a future need, in case the virus recurs.
Plasma therapy uses antibodies found in the blood of people who have recovered from an infection (in this case COVID-19), to treat patients who are still infected with it. Plasma is a an integral blood component which contains virus-fighting antibodies.
HOW DOES PLASMA DONATION HAPPEN?
Plasma donation is like blood donation. However, in this case, plasma gets separated from the blood and the remaining blood is transferred back to the donor’s body resulting in zero blood loss. The procedure is completely harmless and donors do not experience any pain, sickness or dizziness.
WHO CAN DONATE PLASMA FOR TREATMENT OF COVID?
You can donate plasma if you are:
- Between 18-60 years of age for men and for women, above 18 years of age and should never have been pregnant
- Weigh more 50 kgs
- Previously confirmed positive for COVID-19 by a laboratory test
- Recovered form documented infection of COVID-19 and have been symptom free for at least 14 days
- Found negative for all pre donation testing for relevant transfusion transmitted infections
- Meeting all other blood donation criteria
— MyGovIndia (@mygovindia) April 24, 2021
DIGITAL DATA BANK OF PLASMA DONORS
To help facilitate timely plasma therapy for those in need, Delhi Police has set up a Digital Data Bank of plasma donors to connect donors and recipients in need post due authentication.
Named ‘Jeevan Rakshak’, an online Google form has been devised for the purpose. The persons in need of plasma will register their requests for requisition, for which the link is available on the Delhi Police’s official website.
As per a statement, the potential donor will be required to give details such as Name, Age, Gender, Marital Status, Co-morbidities, Contacts, Location, Blood Group, Date of recovering from COVID-19, Social Media handles along with their consent.
— #DilKiPolice Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) May 2, 2021
Also, constables in Delhi Police have launched a social media page ‘Jivebdayani’ to connect critical patients with cops who can donate plasma.