Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday appealed recovered coronavirus patients to donate plasma that can be used to treat serious cases of COVID-19.
“People who have recovered from the disease would be saving lives by donating their plasma,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“Plasma therapy involves the transfusion of plasma from a recovered patient to a critical patient,” he said.
“The therapy is based on the premise that blood of a patient who has recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies with the specific ability to fight the novel virus and help the critical patient to recover,” he added.
Dr Nisar said convalescent plasma therapy is showing promising results and has become a ray of hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Citing a study from China, he said plasma therapy was given to ten COVID-19 patients and the results were promising.
“Countries like US, Iran and UK are already using plasma therapy with success,” he added.
He further said plasma therapy has shown encouraging results on four coronavirus patients in Delhi.
Dr Nisar said the process of donating plasma is similar to donating blood and takes about an hour.
“The donor is connected to a cell-separating machine, also called apheresis machine that removes plasma, while simultaneously returning the remaining components (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) to the donor,” he said.
“Both SMHS and SKIMS hospitals have these machines in place,” he added.
Dr Nisar said plasma can be donated more frequently as compared to blood. It can be donated as often as twice a week.
“Plasma from one person can be used in recovering two infected persons,” he said.
Dr Nisar said an antibody titer of at least 1:160 in the plasma of a donor is considered to be adequate for transfusion.
“The number of the helpful antibodies rise steadily in the bloodstream of a recovered patient and peaks between 21 and 28 days after recovery,” he said.