Capital’s second plasma bank to open at GTB hospital next week
The first one at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in Vasant Kunj was launched on July 2. A dedicated Covid-19 facility, of the 1,500 beds in the hospital, 206 were occupied on Friday evening.Updated: Jul 11, 2020 03:25 IST
Delhi’s second plasma bank will open at northeast Delhi’s Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital in the coming week, senior officials in chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office said on Friday.
“We are in the process of opening up Delhi’s second plasma bank. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been monitoring the setting up of a plasma bank in GTB. Plasma therapy has proved to be life-saving in many corona cases. With this plasma bank, a number of patents will benefit,” said RS Rautela, medical director, GTB hospital.
The first one at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in Vasant Kunj was launched on July 2.
A dedicated Covid-19 facility, of the 1,500 beds in the hospital, 206 were occupied on Friday evening.
Dilip Pandey, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Timarpur, who is charge of setting up Delhi’s second plasma bank, said it will be smaller than the one at ILBS.
“Today a plasma extraction machine was installed at GTB. The only thing we are waiting for is getting approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). We applied and we are expecting to start the plasma bank from Monday or Tuesday if approval from DCGI comes by this weekend,” Pandey said.
The AAP leader said the GTB bank will be able to extract plasma from 7-8 Covid recovered persons in 10 hours. “The set-up is relatively smaller than the one at ILBS, which has three plasma extraction machines compared to one in GTB, though we can increase it any day if demand increases,” he said.
The reason for opening a plasma bank at GTB is accessibility, an official in the chief minister’s office said. “By opening the facility in GTB hospital, interested donors from northeast, east, and north Delhi won’t have to travel all the way to South Delhi to donate their plasma,” the official said.
The scheme of providing a cab or reimbursing the donor’s transportation cost to and from the hospital will continue, the official added.
The first plasma bank in Delhi, also India’s first, opened in ILBS on July 2. Since then, only about 100 persons have come forward to donate their plasma, creating a huge demand and supply gap.
Kejriwal on Friday spoke to several plasma donors telephonically and thanked them for their contribution in saving lives. Taking to Twitter, he shared the audio of his conversation with plasma donors.
To bridge the gap and to stock the bank with adequate plasma, the government issued several orders this week. It has made it mandatory for donors to replace plasma taken for therapy with equivalent units of plasma of any blood group.
It asked all Covid hospitals to ensure all recovered patients fill up a feedback form to assess the “willingness to donate plasma at the time of discharge”.
In another order, the government directed all hospitals to display flex boards outside their premises to encourage plasma donation.
Therapy through transfusion of plasma – a component of the blood – has been on Delhi since April 22, weeks after global studies showed the technique improved chances of recovery among people with severe Covid-19 illness.
Blood and plasma donations require specific matching of blood groups, which often makes the sourcing of plasma difficult, especially at short notice.
According to government reports till June, plasma therapy trials in Delhi helped improve the health condition of 34 out of 35 Covid-19 patients in government hospitals and 46 out of 49 patients in private hospitals.
To register for plasma donation, one has to call on 1031 or send a message on the WhatsApp number 8800007722. One can also register through the government’s delhifightscorona.in website.
To donate plasma, a donor should be a person who was tested positive for Covid-19 through a test. Secondly, s/he must have fully recovered and must be free of any Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days. Only such persons between the age group of 18 and 60 years will be eligible.