Delhi is preparing to set up its first plasma bank intended for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, announced the State Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday. The plasma bank will start operating in the next two days, said the Chief Minister appealing to the recovered patients to non-hesitantly donate plasma at the bank that can be used to treat the COVID infected individuals. The bank will be set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS).
The treatment, called convalescent plasma therapy (CPT), uses transfusion of plasma from recovered patients to the infected ones. The plasma from recovered individuals will possess virus-fighting antibodies floating in the blood, and its transfusions may give recipients’ immune systems an assist in fighting off the virus.
Delhi had begun its plasma therapy trials in April involving 29 patients in the first phase which showed positive results. Recent plasma therapy trials conducted at Lok Nayak Hospital involved 35 patients of which 34 of them have survived. Another hospital in Delhi also reportedly saw the survival of 46 patients out of 49 patients after CPT.
Every COVID-19 patient, whether admitted to a private or a government hospital, will receive plasma from the bank, based on the doctor’s prescription, he said. The whole procedure of plasma donation takes around 30-45 minutes.
“Plasma is not the ultimate cure of novel coronavirus but it is helpful for patients with moderate symptoms, mainly those whose condition is not serious,” said the Chief Minister.
The Delhi government will soon set up a helpline for potential plasma donors to call or reach out through WhatsApp. The donors will be contacted and arrangements for donation will be made accordingly by the Government, said Kejriwal.