Coronavirus treatment: Who can donate plasma and how for Covid-19 patients

Plasma Therapy. Photo: Reuters
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday inaugurated India's first 'plasma bank' at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). 

He launched two helpline numbers for those who would like to donate plasma: one WhatsApp number and one toll free number.

“If you are eligible and are willing to donate plasma, then you may call us at 1031 or you can WhatsApp us at 8800007722. Our doctors will get in touch with you to further confirm your eligibility,” Kejriwal said.

"Donating plasma is an opportunity to save lives," he said. 

What is a plasma bank, why is it required?

Like in blood banks, where blood is extracted and stored for those who might be in need, the idea is to extract and store plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 and give it to someone suffering from the disease. Delhi was among the first few states to get approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct trials with plasma therapy, which is still at trial stage.

Who can donate plasma to coronavirus patients

— People who have tested positive for coronavirus and have recovered at least three weeks before donating and tested negative for Covid-19 twice.
— People who are aged 18 or over, but not more than 60
— People who weigh 50 kgs or more
— Those who are fit and healthy

There are a number of reasons why a person may not be able to donate, even if you are a suitable plasma donor.

Common reasons include:

— if the person is receiving medical or hospital treatment
— Women who have been pregnant in the past
— Cancer patient cannot donate plasma
— People who have hypertension, blood pressure, heart and kidney-related ailments cannot donate plasma
— Persons with comorbidities cannot donate plasma

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