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What is Plasma?
Plasma is one of the major components of blood.
It is the straw-coloured liquid portion of blood in which all the blood cells are suspended.
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Plasma Donor Eligibility
Eligibility of COVID-19 patients to donate whole blood or plasma should be based on
WHAT IS CONVALESCENT PLASMA THERAPY?
The convalescent plasma therapy aims at using antibodies from the blood of a recovered Covid-19 patient to treat those critically affected by the virus. The therapy can also be used to immunise those at a high risk of contracting the virus — such as health workers, families of patients and other high-risk contacts.
This therapy’s concept is simple and is based on the premise that the blood of a patient who has recovered from Covid-19 contains antibodies with the specific ability to fight novel coronavirus. The recovered patient’s antibodies once injected into covid positive patients under treatment, will begin targeting and fighting the novel coronavirus.
The convalescent plasma therapy is akin to passive immunisation as, according to researchers, it is a preventive measure and not a treatment for the Covid-19 disease.
WHY IS CONVALESCENT PLASMA BEING INVESTIGATED TO TREAT COVID-19?
I RECENTLY RECOVERED FROM COVID-19, CAN I DONATE CONVALESCENT PLASMA?
IS PLASMA DONATION SAFE?
CAN I BE A PLASMA DONOR?
Before you go ahead with the donation, there are a few things to be kept in mind
WILL PLASMA DONATION EFFECT ME IN ANYWAY?
No, Plasma donation wont harm you! But you will be proud after helping another human in need
HOW CONVALESCENT PLASMA THERAPY WORKS?
The convalescent plasma therapy uses antibodies developed within an infected person while he/she is infected with the novel coronavirus. These antibodies are developed in a patient as part of the body’s natural immune system response to a foreign pathogen or in this case, the novel coronavirus. These antibodies are highly specific to the invading pathogen and so, work to eliminate the novel coronavirus from the patient’s body.
Once the patient has recovered, they donate their blood so that their antibodies can be used to treat other patients. The donated blood is then checked for the presence of any other disease-causing agents such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV etc.
If deemed safe, the blood is then taken through a process to extract ‘plasma’, the liquid part of the blood that contains antibodies. The antibody-rich plasma, once extracted, is then injected into the body of a patient under treatment.
A sufficient amount of antibody must be administered. When given to a susceptible person, this antibody will circulate in the blood, reach tissues, and provide protection against infection. Depending on the antibody amount and composition, the protection conferred by the transferred immunoglobulin [antibodies] can last from weeks to months.
HISTORY OF PLASMA THERAPY
This is not the first time convalescent plasma therapy is being considered as a treatment for viral infections.
AMOUNT OF PLASMA IN BLOOD
A quantity of 600 ml blood subject to centrifuge, will get about 40-45% (= 40-45% hematocrit) as red blood cells (bottom layer), and rest 60-55% (upper layer) as plasma. A small intermediate phase is called a buffy coat that contains platelets and white blood cells. As the G force or the time of centrifugation increases, there will be fewer platelets and WBC in the plasma phase. So, for 600 ml of whole blood, you can expect to get 600 x 55-60% = 330-360 ml of plasma.
ANTIBODIES IN PLASMA
An antibody test will be done on the donor to check whether sufficient antibodies are formed in his/her body to fight against the virus. if the person fails in the test he/she shall not be considered fit to donate. if he/she passes the test then they are sent to plasma extraction. The IGg value for the antibody test should be not less than 1:160.