Bhubaneswar: Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar, the largest government-run healthcare facility in the city, has so far collected plasma from 13 COVID-19 recovered persons as of Tuesday to help critical patients recover from the deadly disease.
The process, called `Plasmaphereses’ is a term used to refer to a medical procedure through which plasma is separated from blood of a donor, who has recovered from COVID-19. The plasma can be utilised on a patient suffering from COVID so that the antibodies in the plasma of the donor can help the patient to recover faster.
Components such as white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets are found suspended in plasma. While the components of blood are separated in a conventional treatment process, separating plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 patients is a recent technique and is proving effective worldwide.
Currently a donor of plasma (cured COVID-19 patient) can go for self-registration through the portal of the Health and Family Welfare Department. However, after the registration, he/she has to pass through several tests and once the tests are done, then only he/ she can come for donation. In fact, the state government has accorded a flagship programme status to plasma donation across the state.
Currently, plasma banks are available at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar, MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur, VSS Medical College in Burla and Ispat General Hospital in Rourkela. There is a plan to start a plasma bank at Sahid Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital in Koraput soon.
As per the data available with the website of the Health and Family Welfare Department, one can donate plasma, if one is aged between 18-60 years, weigh above 55 kg, had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 (as documented by a diagnostic test at the time of illness by RT-PCR from a government recognized laboratory) and must have recovered from COVID-19 with complete resolution of symptoms and at least one negative laboratory test before 28 days of donation.
On the other hand, one cannot donate plasma, if one is diabetic and under insulin, his/ her blood pressure is more than 100-140 mm Hg (systolic) and 60-90 mm Hg (diastolic) with or without medications and the person has uncontrolled diabetics or hypertension with the change in medication in last 28 days. Additionally, a cancer survivor, chronic kidney/ heart/ lungs or liver disease patients and pregnant women also cannot donate plasma.
Blood Bank Officer at Capital Hospital Dr Debashis Mishra said, “at one go a plasma donor can donate 400 ml of plasma and it can be given to two COVID-19 patients.”
However, he added that on which COVID-19 patient the plasma is to be administered will depend upon the decision of the clinician as he/ she has to assess the condition of the patient. Asymptomatic and patients severely affected by COVID-19 might not be suitable, but grade-II patients with whom even after administration of oxygen its saturation does not improve marginally might be appropriate cases. He added that the clinician at the COVID hospital has to take a call.
It may be noted here that the blood bank in Capital Hospital has always been the forerunner in implementing blood transfusion and separation-related procedures. While in 2001 it started the random donor platelet separation, in 2004 it became the first blood bank in Odisha to start single donor platelet separation.