Heard about plasma donation, commonly discussed these days on the media or some friend/ acquaintance requesting for plasma donation. We get asked what is plasma donation, what is the purpose of plasma donation, what is the procedure to donate plasma, what is the benefit of plasma donation regarding coronavirus, plasma donation in Pakistan, we will try to concisely answer your queries.
What is plasma?
Plasma is a component of whole blood, rich in proteins that include antibodies that help fight off germs that gain entry into the body, some clotting factors among the chief constituents.
What is the benefit of plasma donation regarding coronavirus?
The Covid19 is a new virus with currently no preventive or curative therapies available apart from some under trial. The plasma donation involves a centuries old method to cure diseases i.e. passive immunity.
Although plasma therapy in coronavirus is still under research but it is being utilized on trial basis. In Pakistan the leading trial is undergoing in NIBD Karachi
This Convalescent plasma is taken from a person who had a recent confirmed infection with coronavirus and has completely recovered. The plasma obtained is rich in antibodies against covid19, when this plasma is transfused in a covid19 patient these antibodies help fight the body against the virus also reducing the total illness time.
What is the process of plasma donation?
The plasma donation process is similar to blood donation, but for Convalescent plasma you should be a confirmed recovered case of covid 19.
You should also not have any other active or febrile illness, or infected with Hepatitis or HIV, that are screened by a blood test before donation.
The procedure only involves a needle prick, to collect your plasma and is usually well tolerated.
Plasma donation in Pakistan
Whether you are trying to find plasma donors or you want to donate plasma there are several centres that have setup facilitation desks where you can get all the required information. Contact the blood bank of your nearest health facility.
You can also file a request for donation and find donors willing to help on facebook covid19 help center and blood donation tool.
Update: National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan has opened a helpline for plasma donation.
People who have recovered from Coronavirus can contact the helpline at 0304-111-01-61 for plasma donation. Helpline will remain open round the clock.
Also plasma donation centers have been made functional in all govt teaching hospitals in major cities.