On Thursday, the Delhi government opened the country's first plasma bank. The bank has been set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in Delhi's Vasant Kunj area. The bank has plasma from people who recovered from coronavirus and has been made available free of cost for those who need it.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged people who recovered from coronavirus to come and donate plasma. "We have not got a vaccine for Corona yet. Till the time we do not get a vaccine, plasma therapy will prove to be helpful for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. People were finding it difficult to get plasma and the situation got quite chaotic in Delhi. We hope the situation will improve with the opening of this plasma bank," he said.
However, donors must keep in mind that not everyone is eligible to donate plasma. Here are a few things including eligibility and procedure that one must keep in mind before opting to donate:
- You can call the plasma helpline number -- 011 46300000 ext 23201 -- to opt for plasma donation.
- The ILBS team will call to check eligibility and make an appointment for the donation.
- Once done, the donor will get an appreciation letter or Gaurav Patr signed by the CM.
- Donors will also get pick-up and drop facility to and from their residence. They can, alternatively, avail cash for travel reimbursement.
- Donors must keep in mind that it would take one hour to donate plasma after the basic testing. Once done, the donor will get refreshments.
Once a person recovers, he or she can donate plasma after 14 days, provided they are not older than 60-65 years. The donor must also not have diabetes or hypertension or any chronic kidney, heart, lung or liver disease. Cancer survivors cannot donate plasma either.
Donors need to be well nourished and over 50 kg in weight. Haemoglobin levels need to be over 8. Women who have been pregnant cannot donate plasma.
Plasma can be donated only once in every 14 days up to 2 months after recovery. Hence, a donor can donate plasma upto three times.
Blood is drawn from the donor by a technique called plasmapheresis and blood cells are separated that's returned to the donor's body during the procedure. Only the antibody rich protein fluid is retained by the machine.
Up to 500 ml of plasma is drawn from the donor's body in one donation. That amount is sufficient for two patients. It must be mentioned that the donor does not suffer from any weakness after the donation.