Demand for plasma donations rise as Covid cases near 3 lakh mark, Health News, ET HealthWorld

HYDERABAD: With the total number of Covid-19 cases nearing the three-lakh mark in Telangana and the fear of the new strain of coronavirus fast spreading, the demand for plasma therapy to treat Covid-19 infection seems to be on the rise with more and more people appealing on social media and other messaging platforms.

(Photo/R Senthil Kumar)

However, many say that after the initial surge in number of donations, lack of active volunteers to help coordinate the plasma requests is keeping prospective donors away.

Families of Covid-19 infected patients looking for active plasma donors in the city said that it has become very difficult to find donors, despite several appeals on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

Shanti Reddy, a family member of a Covid-19 infected patient said, “We had to wait for almost a week to find a prospective donor for my cousin who was admitted a private hospital in the city. Earlier, there were several groups as well as individual volunteers who would actively respond to requests being posted online but now there is hardly anyone to help.”

Doctors usually prescribe convalescent plasma therapy, commonly known as plasma therapy, for severely ill Covid-19 patients. According to medical experts, plasma is taken from a person who has recovered from a disease because it contains antibodies to fight the disease. It is then injected into a patient whose own immune system may not be producing antibodies to help boost the antibody response in the system.

Agreeing that they are not actively participating in the coordination process from past few months, M Ravi Kiran, a volunteer said, “We had stopped coordinating after the number of donors reduced in the city. Initially there was a good response but after a couple of months, the number of donors reduced drastically. Another reason for not being very active is fake donors who were trying to con people by taking advantage of the situation.”

Dhiraj Kaveri, blood coordinator, Arohi Blood Bank said, “There is a lot of demand for plasma donors even now, but people are not coming forward. Either it is plasma, blood or platelet donations, we need consistent campaigns to make people aware of the requirement and the importance of these donations.”

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