COVID-19: What is Plasma, Plasma Therapy and How to Donate Plasma?

Plasma Therapy
Plasma Therapy

What is plasma?

Our blood is a very complex mixture. Basically blood consists of two main components i.e. blood cells and plasma. The blood contains 55% plasma of the total blood. Plasma is mostly liquid with some nutrients and salt. While the rest of the components are red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, etc.

When a blood is a centrifuge, it separates into two layers. The lower part consists of blood particles, while the upper part is a yellowish liquid called plasma. This plasma contains water, minerals, antibodies, enzymes, and proteins.

In the procedure, the plasma is separated from the blood with the help of a unique machine called a centrifuge. While the rest of the blood is allowed to enter into the donor body.

This obtained plasma is rich in antibodies and is donated to such patients of Covid-19. Who is extremely ill and is unable to fight against this disease.

What is Plasma Therapy?

Plasma therapy is also named as Convalescent Plasma Therapy. A treatment technique in which plasma, which contains antibodies, is infused into the patient blood is called Plasma Therapy. The plasma must be taken from the patient to recover from the same disease.

The mechanism behind Plasma Therapy is that when a patient recovers from a disease, his plasma contains antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that the body uses to fight infections. The plasma from the recovered patient is infused into the body of an active patient, the antibodies in the plasma help the active patient to fight against the disease.

Plasma Therapy is not a new technique of treatment. It is a very old and traditional method of treatment. For the first time, plasma therapy was implemented in 1892 for treating diphtheria. It has also been tried in Spanish-Flu (1918), SARS-COV-1 (2002-2003), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-MERS (2012), and HIN1 influenza (2009) like a pandemic.

The current epidemiological situation created by SARS-Cov2 has pushed the whole world into a helpless position. The executives and health workers of the affected countries are working hard for the eradication of epidemic SARS-Cov2.

So in this case the plasma therapy is the only hope for both patients and health workers. The struggle of health workers and scientists against this disease can be divided into two categories. The development of new drugs or vaccines and treatment of patients with the existing options of treatment. Plasma therapy is the best option of treatment among these available options of treatment.

So the health workers are trying to defeat the Covid-19 with plasma therapy. They take plasma from the recovered patients of Covid-19, after 28 days. And boost the immunity of active Covid-19 patients with this plasma.

Who can donate plasma?

Those patients who can donate plasma with no issue include.

  • The patients recovered from COVID-19 can donate plasma.
  • Those patients can donate plasma who has no positive history of HIV-AIDS and Hepatitis.
  • Patients who have normal blood pressure can donate plasma.
  • The recovered patient with a normal heartbeat can donate plasma.
  • For donating plasma the oxygen saturation level in the donor blood must be greater than 93.
  • Those patients who have high values of IgG antibodies than IgG cutoff values. Mostly those patients who have IgG antibodies value equal to or greater than 20 can donate plasma. The number of IgG antibodies value increases with time. However, such patients have also been found who cannot produce more antibodies after recovery.

Who cannot donate plasma?

The patients who are recovered, from Covid-19, but cannot donate plasma are

  • The ones who have a positive history of HIV-AIDS and Hepatitis cannot donate plasma.
  • A recovered patient who has very high or low blood pressure also cannot donate plasma.
  • Patients having very low or high blood pressure also cannot donate plasma.
  • The recovered patients who have low oxygen saturation levels in the blood cannot donate plasma. The oxygen saturation level must be greater than 93 before and after Covid-19.
  • The one who faces severe symptoms during Covid-19 like respiratory failure, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, cannot donate plasma to Covid-19 patients.

How much can donate plasma?

A healthy recovery patient can donate 400 to 600 ml plasma at a time, which is sufficient for three corona patients. This process will take time from 60 to 70 minutes. If a person wants to donate plasma. He should sign a permission form called Consent form.

What to do before Donating Plasma?

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a healthy meal 1 or 2 hours before donating plasma. Do not eat fatty and roasted meal.
  • Do not take tea before donating plasma.
  • Do not do hard exercise or hard physical activities before donating plasma.
  • Take a good bed rest in the previous 24 hours.

What to do after the Donation of Plasma?

  • Drink plenty of water and juices after the donation of plasma.
  • Eat a healthy meal after 1 0r 2 hours of donating plasma.
  • Do not do hard exercise or physical activities for 24 hours after the donation of plasma.
  • Do not drink or smoke for 24 hours after the donation of plasma.
  • In last a sincere advice is to donate plasma free of cost and don’t refuse to donate plasma. Your donated plasma can save lives of 3 to 4 seriously ill patients of Covid-19.
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