About Plasma therapy and donation guidelines

What is plasma therapy?

Plasma therapy is a medical procedure that uses the blood of a recovered patient to create antibodies on those infected individuals. Medically known as convalescent plasma therapy, this treatment uses antibodies found in the blood taken from a recovered Covid-19 patient. It is then used to treat those with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection to aid recovery.

Does Plasma Therapy Cure COVID?

Currently, it has shown positive results in Delhi and Mumbai where COVID cases are spiking high. It has also proven to improve the ability of a person to recover from the disease. However, there is more research required to prove its full efficacy in different patient types.

Why should you donate?

Donating plasma can save lives. Your antibodies can help someone fight the infection and emerge victoriously. If your COVID symptoms have been absent for more than 14 days, kindly consider donating as a service to humanity.

Just like during any regular blood donation session, blood will be drawn from your arm. It will be sent through special tubes that will separate the plasma from the blood.  

Where can you donate?

Major blood banks accept plasma donations. You can call their helpline numbers and enquire. You can also search plasma donation camps near your area on the internet. 

How Does Plasma Therapy Work?

A convalescent plasma therapy uses antibodies (a type of protein i.e produced by plasma) from patients who have completely recovered from COVID-19 infection. Here is how this procedure will fight coronavirus in your body.

  • Blood is taken from a previously infected but completely recovered patient, the plasma component of that blood is separated and that contains the antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus. This plasma is injected into an infected person’s body that will fight the virus and neutralize it from spreading.
  • Once the patient has recovered, he/she will be asked to donate their blood so that their antibodies will be used to treat other infected patients.
  • The blood sample will be checked for any existing harmful diseases such as Hepatitis B & C including HIV.
  • The recovered blood will be taken into study and a researcher will extract plasma from the blood that can be injected into an infected person.

Risks of Plasma Therapy

Though this kind of treatment has proved to be effective over COVID patients, it needs to be done under proper medical supervision keeping in mind underlying risks. Here are some potential risks you need to be aware of.

  • Since this process involves blood transfusion, there could be a risk of transmitting a prevalent virus from a recovered person. Thus, a doctor must assess the recovered person’s health before opting to conduct blood transfusion.
  • Every human body reacts in different ways to a treatment or medication. This treatment can not be useful for some patients as it can result in the contraction of an infection.
  • You could be at risk of contracting the infection once again.

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