Covid-19: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal inaugurates India’s first convalescent plasma bank
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday inaugurated India’s first convalescent plasma bank for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients at the Vasant Kunj-based Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS).
The CM said, “There is no vaccine for the disease, but initial results have shown that plasma from recovered patients reduces mortality from Covid-19. People of Delhi were facing a lot of problems in getting plasma for Covid-19 patients. This bank will streamline the process.”
The bank can store over 200 units of plasma, which can be accessed by any hospital – both government-run and private -- treating Covid-19 patients.There are 10 plasmapheresis machines at the donation centre.
These machines take out the blood from a recovered patient, separate the blood component, store the plasma, and return the rest of the blood to the recovered patient’s body. Patients, who have recovered from the viral infection, are eligible for donation after 14 days of their recovery.
Convalescent plasma therapy uses a blood component called plasma, containing the virus-fighting antibodies, from a person who has recovered from the infection. When administered to a Covid-19 patient, it should help the patient’s immune system fight off the virus.
A small trial conducted at Delhi’s biggest Covid-19 hospital, Lok Nayak, showed an improved respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score that predicts the intensive care unit (ICU) mortality rate.The duration of ICU and hospital stay was also less in patients, who were administered convalescent plasma.
The first indication of plasma therapy being effective against Covid-19 came in a scientific paper published on April 6 by Chinese experts who discovered a rapid recovery among 10 patients in their trial. Within one-three days of being administered plasma, these people were free of symptoms of the viral disease.