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90k patients recover from coronavirus, but no plasma donors in Bengaluru

90k patients recover from coronavirus, but no plasma donors in Bengaluru
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90k patients recover from coronavirus, but no plasma donors in Bengaluru

Highlights

Even though 91,180 Covid patients have successfully recovered from Covid-19 in Bengaluru, authorities at Victoria Government Hospital are finding it difficult to find plasma donors for treatment of critical coronavirus patients

Why plasma is key?

Plasma along with the ongoing medication will help the patient to build immunity and improves the patients recovery rate

♦ Plasma is taken from a person who has recovered from a Covid-19 as it contains antibodies to fight the virus

♦ Later, the plasma is injected into a patient

♦ A Covid-19 recovered patient contains a specific protein, called an antibody, produced to fight the infection

What is the hitch?

♦ After recovery, Covid-19 patients remain in 24-day mandatory home quarantine from the date of discharge. Hence, it is difficult to collect their blood sample

♦ Stigma attached to Covid-19, donors fear they may contract the virus again

Who can donate?

♦ Can only be donated by someone who has had the virus

♦ It is important that donors have fully recovered from COVID-19

Bengaluru: Even though 91,180 Covid patients have successfully recovered from Covid-19 in Bengaluru, authorities at Victoria Government Hospital are finding it difficult to find plasma donors for treatment of critical coronavirus patients.

Officials say that those who have recovered are reluctant to come back to hospital due to the stigma attached to Covid-19 and the fear of contracting the virus again. The authorities at the Victoria Government Hospital stated that the biggest challenge is to convince people to donate plasma.

So far, only 33 Covid-19 recovered patients volunteered to donate plasma at the Victoria Hospital. While around 91,180 Covid patients recovered in Bengaluru till September 1, around 762 patients are currently in the ICU waiting for plasma.

"Donors are not coming forward. For instance, several police personnel recovered from Covid-19, but only one cop donated plasma at the Victoria Hospital. Most others donated their plasma to private hospitals. We are requesting the government to provide us with two mobile vans so that we can collect plasma from Covid recovered patients."

The doctor further stated that plasma donation requires a separate room and private blood banks are not coming forward Dr Vishal Rao, head neck oncologist at HCG hospital in Bengaluru pointed out that over 50 blood banks across the state have necessary approvals from the drug controller to collect plasma, but not all the banks are offering plasma to the critically ill Covid-19 patients. "Cannot all the recovered patients pledge to save more than 700 patients in the ICU? All the districts should have a plasma bank," Dr Rao said.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Government's Mission COPE (Covid Plasma Endeavour), in association with ICATT Foundation and HCG Hospital, aims to promote plasma donation among patients who have recovered from Covid.

In the second week of August, 230 Covid recovered patients had enrolled for plasma donation. ESI hospital at Rajajinagar and St John's hospital are permitted to harvest plasma, but they have not harvested plasma even now. ESI hospital sends its patients requiring plasma to other hospitals.

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