As the number of active COVID-19 cases is skyrocketing by the day in India, there seems to be no respite from the grave situation. More and more people are losing hope with every passing day as signs of getting a vaccine sooner seem bleak.
The only silver lining to this situation comes in the form of convalescent plasma donation. As there is currently no known treatment for the virus, doctors and scientists around the world have found plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients to be effective in fighting the virus and saving critical lives. Although there is no concrete evidence to support this, the results have been pretty confident inducing.
That being said, not many people are coming forward to donate their plasma due to a lack of awareness or being afraid of stepping into a hospital again. At the time of writing this article (9th July, 15:30 PM), there are 2,72,874 active cases in India. Of the total confirmed cases of 7,71,833 and 4,77,685 people have recovered, which is over half the confirmed cases. It is one of the highest recovery rates in the world.
If at least half of the recovered people come forward to donate their plasma, a lot of precious lives can be saved. In this article, we will be mentioning everything you need to know about plasma donation in an effort to educate and persuade you to come forward so that we all can emerge victorious in this battle.
What is convalescent plasma and how does it help a COVID-19 infected person?
Convalescent means recovery from an illness or a medical treatment. Plasma is a liquid that is drawn from the blood of recovered patients of COVID-19. A person who has completely recovered from COVID-19 develops antibodies in their blood that has the capacity to fight the virus. Antibodies are a form of protein that fights and protects our body during a viral invasion.
When the antibody-rich plasma from a COVID-19 recovered patient is injected into an infected person, it will help in the recovery. While there is no evidence of precise treatment for this, it is a century-old process, and procedures done around the world have shown solid results. The same applies to India and Hyderabad where the results were promising.
How is plasma extracted?
The process is known as plasmapheresis and it takes around 30 minutes. The plasma is separated from the blood through centrifugal force in a device and the separated blood is injected back into the donor. The same blood is injected back into the donor. It is a painless process.
The whole process is as similar and simple as donating blood. Each donor can donate as much as 400-500 ml of plasma in a single sitting and this in turn can be used to save the lives of 2 patients.
I have recovered from COVID-19. Am I eligible to donate?
If you have completely recovered from COVID-19 and do not show any signs or symptoms for at least 14 days, then you are eligible to donate your plasma. However, you will need to have proper documentation to support the same and meet other donor criteria.
What are the criteria to donate plasma?
Below are the eligibility criteria:
- Age between 18 and 60
- Must weigh over 50 kilograms
- Have enough blood to donate safely (this depends on your height and weight)
You may not donate if you have existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. The doctor will also perform a detailed medical and physical examination to determine your eligibility.
How often can I donate my plasma?
A recovered patient can donate his/her plasma every 15 days and up to 4 months since recovery.
Will donating plasma put me at risk of contracting COVID-19 again?
No. Donating your plasma does not affect your antibody levels as your immune system readily replaces the plasma you donate.
How can I donate plasma?
If you are eligible and are willing to donate your plasma, you may contact on 1031 or Whats app your details to 8800007722. If you are in Hyderabad, you may also contact Gandhi hospital to make your plasma donation.
Can I still help if I am not tested positive?
No, you may not help in donating your plasma if you have not tested positive for COVID-19. However, the country currently, not only needs plasma but is also running short of blood in the blood banks. Due to the announcement of lockdown, most blood donation drives and camps have been canceled. This has become harder as the social distancing has become a norm. You can still be of help by donating your blood and lessen the shortage.
Whether you are able to donate plasma or blood, in the end, you will have the amazing satisfaction of saving a life. Let us come forward in this need of the hour and do our bit to fight this menacing virus and save precious lives.
We hope we were able to answer all your queries related to plasma donation. You may Contact Us if you have further questions or would like to donate your plasma. You may also contact us if you require COVID-19 or other medical assistance from the comfort and safety of your home.