Plasma Therapy

#GS3 #Health #Biotechnology

An ICMR study has found convalescent plasma was not associated with a reduction in progression to severe Covid-19 or all-cause mortality. At a recent media briefing, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava had said they were contemplating deleting convalescent plasma as a definitive therapy from the national guidelines for Covid-19 treatment.


What is ‘Plasma Therapy’?

  • In plasma therapy, the antibody rich plasma from a recovered patient is extracted and administered to a patient. The trials are trying to find out if the antibodies can help patients recover.
  • Each plasma donation would be used to treat 2 patients. The bank collects 500 ml of plasma, depending on weight.
  • In plasma donation, as opposed to blood donation, only plasma is extracted and the other components of blood are returned to the body.
  • Blood contains several components, including red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells, and plasma. During a whole blood donation, donors typically donate a pint (about a half litre) of blood. 500 ml of plasma can be donated every two weeks, while blood can be donated once in three months. 


Who can donate ‘Plasma’?

  • Those who had the disease, but have recovered at least 14 days before the donation can be considered — although doctors prefer a time of three weeks between recovery and donation.
  • People between the ages of 18 and 60, and weighing not less than 50 kg are eligible.
  • Women who have given birth are not eligible, as the antibodies they produce during pregnancy (after being exposed to the blood of the foetus) can interfere with lung function. People with co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer are also excluded.
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