Gurugram’s first plasma bank operational; 5 recovered patients donate plasma
The district administration on Thursday inaugurated Gurugram’s first convalescent plasma bank for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients at the Rotary Blood Bank in Sector 10. Five recovered Covid-19 patients donated their plasma to the blood bank, including 37-year-old Krishna Murari, a resident of Sector 10, who was the first person to donate plasma.
Out of the eight people who reached the blood bank, only five could donate plasma, after fulfilling all the criteria for donation, as per the doctors present at the blood bank. Till the first half of the day no activity took place, while in the evening, five people gave their plasma after going through screening and blood tests, which included the antibody test for Covid-19.
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Detected Covid-19 positive on June 10 after having fever-like symptoms, Murari was under home isolation till June 28. “During that period, I received calls regarding plasma donation. But as told by doctors, plasma can only be donated after 14 days of recovery. So I had to wait for it. I was comfortable donating my plasma as I have been donating blood for a long time,” said Murari.
Dr Mahima Kilhor, medical officer at Rotary Blood Bank, who is also the nodal in-charge of the plasma bank, said, “Only those patients who have recovered from the illness can donate plasma 14 days of their recovery. One unit of plasma collected can be used for two patients. The bank can store over 1000 units of plasma, which can be used on Covid-19 patients admitted in private and government hospitals. The bank has one plasmapheresis machine that separates plasma from the blood and transfuses the blood back into the body of the donor.” Currently, the bank has 10 units of plasma for Covid-19 patients.
Convalescent plasma therapy uses antibodies generated in the body against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Plasma, a component of blood, contains these antibodies. When the plasma is administered to a Covid-19 patients, it boosts their immunity to fight against the infection. It is still an experimental therapy approved by the Central health ministry. The plasma therapy has previously been used during the SARS and MERS outbreaks, which were also caused by viruses from the same family as the Sars-CoV-2.
Doctors said that nearly 70 Covid-19 recovered patient have given confirmation for donation. Till date, 8,989 coronavirus cases have been reported in Gurugram, with 77 new cases on Thursday. Out of the total cases, 991 are active patients while 7,876 have recovered. The Covid-19 toll stands at 122.
As reported by HT on Thursday, convalescent plasma for Covid-19 patients will be issued on a signed request of the authorised nodal officer of the hospital where the patient is undergoing treatment, along with the medical superintendent of the district health department. The cost of plasma unit has been fixed at ₹8,500 and it will be free for BPL card holders and pregnant women.
In July, PGIMS-Rohtak became the first government hospitals in the state to start plasma therapy. Dr Dhruv Chaudhary, head, pulmonary and critical care medicine department, PGIMS-Rohtak, who is also Haryana’s nodal officer for Covid-19, said, “Plasma has been collected from 15 recovered Covid-19 patients. Since one unit can suffice two patients, we have stock for 30 patients. But as a part of the trial study, we have transfused plasma in eight patients. It is difficult to share the inferences as the sample size is small. Some of them have responded to the plasma therapy while a few of them succumbed to the illness.”