Recovered twins donate plasma to break taboo

New Delhi: In an inspiring move that might motivate more recovered COVID-19 patients to come forward and donate plasma, a brother and sister duo came forward together to donate plasma.

Suman Bairwa, a nursing officer at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) contracted the virus on duty.

The 28-year-old frontline worker was in a non-COVID ward at the time but said that most of the time, patients are positive, while their reports come out negative.

"I was exposed three times in such cases, but the third time I got it. I was shifted to the hospital for a week. We are a five-member family where my mother and brother also tested positive. Both were asymptomatic," she said.

Her brother Bijendra Bairwa, is a software engineer and a few years older. He donated plasma to a critical patient at Saroj Speciality Hospital in Rohini. Both sister and brother have been applauded for their efforts by the hospital administration and their colleagues.

"We came forward for tests as we know the stress that comes with COVID-19. With you, it is the whole community that is somehow getting vulnerable due to this virus. We understand the whole stress and fear, which is why we came forward to give our plasma. We want the person to recover and go back home to their family," Suman said.

The nursing officer also said that COVID-19 comes with a taboo. "When a person realises they have to give plasma to a positive patient, they get scared and run away from it. People are running away from positive patients, not wanting to even speak or help them."

Another reason she said why recovered patients are not coming forward is because they think they will get weak. "People have the perception that they would go weak if they donate plasma, which is not true. RBC replaces plasma with something else. The only effect is it leaves you dehydrated," she said, emphasising that more people need to come forward to donate plasma as it might save their lives.

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