Plasma therapy is raising hopes in treatment of COVID-19 patients. But the challenge lies in convincing the patients, who recovered from coronavirus having contracted it, to donate their plasma, say doctors.
With no vaccine or specific drug available as of now, doctors are doing their bit to save lives of coronavirus-affected persons. As attempts to treat the virus-affected patients by administering plasma therapy yielded positive results in some cases, the concept gained popularity.
Even Gandhi Hospital superintendent Raja Rao, attending the hearing of a PIL plea through video conference, told the Telangana High Court on June 18 that five patients were recovering from coronavirus following plasma therapy. Convalescent plasma therapy involves extraction of plasma from a person who recovered from the virus.
The plasma extracted from recovered persons contains anti-bodies of the virus. On transfusion to the patient, these anti-bodies help him or her recover, say the doctors. Unfortunately, not many persons, who had recovered from coronavirus, are coming forward to donate plasma.
The recovered persons have their own apprehensions and misgivings about the donation of plasma. “Will giving plasma weaken me further?” is the main doubt expressed by a considerable number of persons who were approached for plasma donation.
“No harm is done to persons who donate plasma. I appeal to all persons who recovered from coronavirus to come forward to donate plasma,” says NIMS liaison officer and doctor Martha Ramesh. Vouching for plasma therapy, the doctor said those donating plasma were becoming warriors of COVID-19 and helping society as a whole.
Cyberabad police Commissioner V.C. Sajjanar took up a campaign persuading persons who recovered from coronavirus to put their best foot forward. For this, the Cyberabad police formed a dedicated wing.
Volunteers from Society for Cyberabad Security Council, voluntary organisations Robinhood Army and Youngistan joined this unit. Having collected database of coronavirus-recovered persons, these volunteers are persuading them to extend helping hand to other patients by donating plasma.
“Volunteers are calling up nearly 1,000 persons on an average daily,” says Cyberabad Traffic Police Additional DCP Praveen Reddy. Not all of them are eligible for donation of plasma. Persons with co-morbidity conditions, senior citizens and women are not supposed to donate plasma.
Nearly 50 to 80 of those 1,000 patients are giving their consent.
The campaign started by Cyberabad police nearly 10 days ago is already showing positive signs with some of the plasma recipients witnessing improvement.
Mr. Sajjanar said people requiring plasma or ready to donate plasma could contact 94906 17440 or donateplasma.scsc.in for help.
Police would connect the persons donating plasma to patients and arrange transport, he said.