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PLASMA BANK

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    9th Jul, 2020

Delhi gets its first plasma bank for Covid-19 treatment.

Context

Delhi gets its first plasma bank for Covid-19 treatment.

Background:

  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has inaugurated India’s first plasma bank at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) to ease access to plasma that is being used as a trial to treat Covid-19 patients.
  • A healthy person between the age group of 18-60 years with no co-morbidities could be a donor.
  • The reason for setting a plasma bank is that people were finding it difficult to get plasma and the situation in Delhi was turning chaotic.
  • The therapy is still at a trial stage and only seven hospitals, like Lok Nayak Hospital and Max Super Specialty, Saket, have permission to administer it.

Analysis

Similar trends

  • Maharastra has launched ‘Project Platina’ for plasma therapy trials.
  • Similarly, states like Kerala and Punjab have similar plans to set up a plasma bank.
  • Countries such as China, South Korea, the US, and the UK have been trying Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT).


 Significance of Plasma Therapy

  • Convalescent Plasma Therapy may be helpful for people with COVID-19 who are not helped by other treatments. Some people with COVID-19 become very sick and do not respond to other treatments or drugs. These people often develop Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) — a severe lung condition. They often require mechanical assistance, such as a ventilator, to breathe. These people also are in danger of developing organ failure.
  • It could also help other people who may have a higher risk of serious illness, such as people with chronic medical conditions, for example, heart disease or diabetes, or those who have weakened immune systems. Convalescent plasma could help these people from getting sicker if they get COVID-19.
  • Convalescent plasma might also be considered for family members or health care workers who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to potentially prevent them from getting COVID-19..
  • Plasma donation does not cause any weakness in an individual. A person can donate plasma again in a gap of 10 days.
  • Trials with Plasma Therapy conducted to date have shown positive results. The patients suffering from the virus at the second stage have either a decline in oxygen levels or the respiration levels have increased.

Risks associated with Plasma Therapy

    • Blood and plasma have been used to treat many other conditions, and they’re usually very safe. The risk of contracting COVID-19 infection from receiving convalescent plasma therapy has not been tested yet.
    • The risk of these infections is very low because donated blood must meet certain requirements outlined by the health authority. Before donated blood can be used, it must be tested for safety. It then goes through a process to separate blood cells so that all that’s left is plasma with antibodies. However, convalescent plasma therapy carries the risk of:
      • Allergic reactions
      • Lung damage and difficulty breathing
      • Transmission of infections, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C


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