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Battling COVID-19: NGOs step up for arranging plasma; urge recovered people to donate

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NGOs have been working selflessly to respond to people’s pleas and are also encouraging Covid-recovered patients to donate plasma.

There is no doubt that people have been pretty active on social media at a time when COVID-19 transmission and oxygen crisis, just so they can help others in need for treatment. Among the posts shared, many of them have requests for convalescent plasma as it is being prescribed to many for treating the COVID-19 infection. Blood banks too have seen a rise in demand for convalescent plasma. For this, NGOs have been working selflessly to respond to people’s pleas and are also encouraging Covid-recovered patients to donate plasma, a report by The IE noted.

On April 22, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had said that off-label use of convalescent plasma can be considered for cases with early moderate infection of Coronavirus. This is preferred within seven days after the symptoms occur as well as in specific circumstances. Experts have opined that the timing of the administering convalescent plasma is crucial during the treatment of moderately-ill Coronavirus patients.

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Citing senior consultant Dr Purnima Rao at Sahyadri Hospitals, the report said that several NGOs are coming along with some voluntary donors who have stepped forward in order to donate plasma. At Sahyadri Hospital, as many as 620 procedures for this have been performed whereas the hospital has issued 1,240 units. Similarly at KEM Hospital, 347 procedures have been done among which, 100 were performed in April itself. Since there is a shortage of plasma, the hospitals are looking for plasma donors.

Dr Snehal Mujumdar, in charge of Ruby Hall Clinic’s blood bank, according to the report said that NGOs have risen whenever the blood bank fell short of plasma. For this, NGOs have been requesting people to donate their plasma so they can further provide it to people who are in need of it. SPG Foundation, an NGO run by Vipul Gundecha has been able to find more than 750 plasma donors. According to Gundecha, some people have even donated plasma for the third time since their recovery. At another organization- Raktache Naate, more than 800 people have been encouraged to donate their plasma after they recover from COVID-19 infection.

A Pune-based NGO, Mizhi Charitable Trust, has also established a help desk where relatives of affected Coronavirus patients are being guided on plasma therapy, its need, its availability and all other information regarding the same.

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