Plasma Donation : Treatment or an Experiment ?

In the attempt to find an apt cure for the worldwide spread disease COVID-19, several medical practitioners are coming up with different ideas to have control over the current situations. One of such most recommended and previously tested process being Plasma therapy in gaining recognition internationally to cure the final stage COVID-19 patients. It is a medical procedure where blood is donated by recovered patients to establish antibodies which fights the infection. This article will shed some light on myths and basic factors of Plasma donation, it’s effectiveness and if it is a safe treatment or not.

INTRODUCTION

According to the two major research programs performed in countries like China and America, patients were provided with Plasma therapy treatment and evidently within the time span of 1-3 days patients successfully recovered, without any side effects. But this was tested just at the research level and was not further included by these countries at unrestricted level. Going by reports, before been provided with Plasma therapy the said patients were on ventilator in critical condition ,which indisputably transformed into quick recovery with zero percent of side effects traced.

After 1976, when once again from 2014 to 2016 Ebola virus disease (EVD) occurred as an outbreak in The Western Africa with no specifically established medication or treatment ,the practitioners had opt for Plasma therapy with WHO giving it’s consent further only to follow up with a major success ratio. But somewhere the treatment was suggested only when no other effective medication was available with no other option left for cure, having it as a last moment saviour. Although a complete research is still the need of an hour to conclude it’s effectiveness as a safe procedure, in states like Maharashtradelhi with high spike in COVID-19 cases plasma therapy is effectively helping patients recover.

WHAT IS PLASMA?

Plasma is one of the largest part of blood with 55% of it’s content, playing major role for the body to develop antibodies to fight with diseases. When separated from the rest of the blood, plasma is a light yellowish liquid which also carries water, salts and enzymes. Although 90% part of Plasma is water but the rest 10% can be a life saviour.

According to several medical practitioners “The main role of plasma is to take nutrients, hormones, and proteins to the parts of the body that need it. Cells also put their waste products into the plasma. The plasma then helps remove this waste from the body. Blood plasma also carries all parts of the blood through your circulatory system”

WHO CAN DONATE PLASMA? “ELIGIBILITY”

With some limitations, plasma donation eliminates a large scale of people from eligibility being:

✓ The age of donor must be between 18-65 years.

✓ Recovered patients when donating plasma must be at early stages after recovery.

✓ Weight of donor must be above 55kgs.

✓ Haemoglobin level must be above 12.

Donor must be free from any transmitting or Chronic disease.

✓ Diabetic patients can not donate plasma.

✓ HIV positive individuals are ineligible.

✓ Co-morbidity must not exist in the body of donor.

✓ Women who’ve become mothers or who have conceived are ineligible as well.

✓ People who’ve themselves recieved Plasma donation can not further donate.

✓ Level of antibodies must be high in the body of donor.

✓ Vaccination eliminates the eligibility, hence only patients who have recovered and did not get vaccinated can donate plasma.

For which an individual can consult a nearby blood bank to have eligibility test done.

RISKS OF PLASMA DONATION

✓ Before transmission of blood from a recovered individual to an infected patient, doctors must check the presence of any prevalent disease which can further infect the already infected patient.

✓ Process of reaction of body in each individual differs creating high possibilities of disease contraction.

✓ Researchers have shown the possibilities of patients can get infected once again.

✓ Process of reaction of body in each individual differs creating high possibilities of disease contraction.

✓ Researchers have shown the possibilities of patients can get infected once again.

✓ Minor side effects including dehydration and dizziness.

IS PLASMA DONATION SAFE?

The answer is in positive, For the donor this process is absolutely considered safe. Plasma collection centres are usually far from COVID-19 facility centres. The reports show that only 3 people out of 10 on an average are eligible to donate plasma who own high antibody’s level. An eligible person can donate upto 400-500ml of plasma at one time , depending upon factors of age, weight etc. Which can further help  three to five infected patients. Participation into plasma donation can be done with the gap of every 15 days upto 3 times with no effect on quantity of plasma in the body of donor.

HOW TO DONATE PLASMA?

With the help of several websites one can register after checking the eligibility criteria to donate Plasma. The websites providing guidance being:

• Dhoondh.com
• needplasma.in
• friends2support.org

When after a person registers as a donor, the volunteers contact the individuals for the Demands of blood group that matches with the donor.

The second way being after 28 days of COVID-19 negative reports, an individual can contact any nearby blood bank with essentials as Aadhar card as identify proof and the covid+ reports where the level of antibodies will be monitored to check if a donor has sufficient amount of balance within blood to donate plasma. The donated plasma however can never go wasted for the reason being inherent potential of its usage that can extend upto 1 year (Frozen plasma).

SUGGESTIONS

Plasma therapy can as an initial solution not only help the patients recover but can also provide the medical practitioners with appropriate amount of time to find a perfect solution to cure the disease. With necessary steps, myths related to plasma donation can be eliminated from the mindset of society to develop an acknowledged environment of free will to initiate eligible people to come forward and donate plasma. Some of which being;

✓ Public awareness by the help of influential people

✓ Detailed discussion regarding effects of donation

✓ Compilation of previous Impacts of plasma therapy

✓ Spreading awareness as to why plasma donation is important via commercials, broadcasting, newspaper and other communication platforms

People fear donating plasma and recieving it as well because of lack of communication. A transparent conversation explaining the details can be proved highly beneficial.

CONCLUSION

According to the research, a plasma therapy can help a patient recover within a week with no side effects being tracked so far because of the treatment. The treatment however is at the experimental stage ,yet internationally since 1917 ( H1N1 virus) to 2016( Ebola virus) Plasma therapy from time to time has passed the tests of an optional treatment ,when no other Man-made medication is proved successful.

In India, ICMR ( Indian council of medical research) has approved the use of Plasma therapy for treating COVID-19 patients and urged the medical sectors to register into DCI ( Drug controller of india) and CTEC ( Clinical trial ethics committee) to have protocol passed for the treatment to be levelled up at a larger scale. Further mentioning, the patients with critical conditions will be operated with Plasma on priority.

Conclusively, the treatment so far is considered safe for both Donor and patient. The only drawback is availability of sufficient number of donors. The current study shows how donating plasma is not going to affect the donor much, but lives of many can be saved. Let’s help each other by spreading awareness and guiding people of the consequences for WE CAN TOGETHER SAVE EACH OTHER with knowledge, assistance, aid and support. 

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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Freedom of Speech during the pandemic – 8 – Aishwarya Sandeep

Freedom of Speech – 9 – Aishwarya Sandeep

Constitutional Validity of 103rd Amendment ,2019 – part 2 – Aishwarya Sandeep

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