Gurgaon: In a major boost to the fight against Covid-19, Gurgaon’s first plasma bank will be inaugurated at Rotary blood bank in Sector 10 on Thursday. The centre will operate on the lines of the ones in Delhi.
Gurgaon chief medical officer Virender Yadav said, “We will start the plasma bank from Thursday and people who want to donate plasma can contact the health department.” He added that this will help hospitals get plasma for the patients easily.
The health department has decided to set up the plasma donation bank in Rotary blood bank in Sector 10, keeping in view the concerns of the people while stepping into a hospital where Covid-19 patients are getting treated.
Dr Yadav said that a patient cannot directly contact a plasma bank and only hospitals will be allowed to contact in case of requirement.
On July 2, Delhi became the first city in the country to open a plasma bank, which was followed by another one on July 14. Other states such as Punjab and Tamil Nadu have followed suit.
In plasma therapy, plasma with antibodies obtained from the blood of recovered patients is transfused to Covid-19 patients. Upon transfusion, the antibodies bind to specific antigens, recognised by the body as alien, and destroy them. The therapy has been tried in the past to treat Ebola, SARS and MERS. The therapy can also be used to immunise those who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
According to the protocols, a patient can donate plasma two weeks after recovery. Patients above the age of 55; those who have a history of other diseases such as diabetes, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV; and pregnant women and those who have given birth will not be included in this process, the health department said. Recovered patients who want to donate plasma will also have to undergo some tests such as completed blood count. They will also be screened for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, malaria, and syphilis, blood grouping and antibodies. At least 500ml plasma can be donated at a time which can be used to treat two Covid-19 patients.
While Gurgaon has 7,771 recovered Covid-19 patients, the health department will scrutinise those who can donate plasma out of these.