As city witnesses 3rd wave, demand for plasma rises, donors urged to step up

As city witnesses 3rd wave, demand for plasma rises, donors urged to step up

New delhi: As Delhi witnesses a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, the demand for plasma therapy has also increased, with healthcare experts stating that there is a crunch in the number of donors.

Convalescent plasma therapy, or CPT, is a procedure in which Covid-19 antibodies in the blood of a patient who has recovered is extracted, and injected into a patient who is still sick. This procedure has been found, in some cases, to help the patient build immunity against the disease.

Speaking about the issue, Kanishk Yadav, a nursing officer at AIIMS, who has also started a plasma donation bank said, "Plasma donation is playing a vital role in fighting the virus, but at the moment we have so much request that there are not enough donors."

He further said that plasma has shown to be successful in improving the condition of the person who has severe symptoms and is on the ventilator. To request more people, they have also started a recruiting drive. "In pandemic we have ensured 100 plasma donations, but to take up all requests we need more donors to save more lives," he added.

According to Dr Meenu Bajpai, Professor & head, Transfusion Medicine, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), which is also one of the biggest plasma banks, the demand for plasma has increased marginally.

"We have a certain level of capacity, but are doing our work. There are day to day variations as well, like on weekends it is a lot compared to weekdays. If there will be a curb in covid cases, there will be a curb here as well. There are day-to-day fluctuations as well," she told Millennium Post.

However, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has advised all state governments and health authorities to "avoid indiscriminate use" of this therapy considering that it is beneficial only in some specific cases in view of the continued "inappropriate use of convalescent plasma therapy" for Covid-19 patients.

This comes after an extensive study by the ICMR was conducted in September on Covid-19 patients that found that CPT neither reduced the severity of the illness nor prevented mortality.

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