Blood samples for test/ Representational image
Blood samples for test/ Representational image
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Every other treatment of COVID-19 is an investigative treatment, so is plasma therapy. Plasma therapy can work well on patients who are moderately ill and save them from becoming severely ill. After Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, who was infected with COVID-19, underwent plasma therapy and recovered, that gave a bonus point to this therapy. Yet there are some fears and myths around this therapy.

Below given in myth and reality around this:

Myth: If I donate my plasma, my immunity level will drop.

Reality: This is a myth. The medical team only collects the plasma. It has to be noted that collecting plasma is different from collecting blood. It is the liquid component of the blood. Only the antibody is taken from the body, the blood (WBC and RBC) is flushed back into your system. In short, the manufacturing unit in our body remains with us.

Myth: I cannot donate plasma again.

Reality: Unlike blood, plasma regenerates within four hours of donation. So, one can donate plasma again in 15 days. But plasma is usually taken within one or two months of getting infected, as that is when the antibody level is the highest. After three-four months, the antibody level will be the lowest.

Myth: If a patient has a pre-condition (illness like diabetes, hypertension or cardiac), he or she doesn’t qualify to be a receiver.

Reality: This is not true. However, based on the condition or the severity of the illness the medical experts will take a call if plasma treatment can be given to the patient.

Myth: One donor can save one life

Reality: Most of the time, one donor’s plasma can save two lives. At times some plasma receivers may need two units (200 ml each).

Myth: Plasma therapy is expensive.

Reality: In the case of antiviral drugs, one injection costs around Rs 5,000 and a patient requires six of those. So, the patient will spend around Rs 30,000. In the case of plasma therapy, it will cost somewhere around Rs 15,000.

Myth: Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 can donate plasma.

Reality: There is an eligibility and qualification criteria.

What is the eligibility criteria to donate plasma?

-Aged between 18 and 55

-Above 55 kg

-Should not have any pre-existing medical condition

Qualification for a donor:

5ml samples are needed to check:

-If the donor has the right amount of antibody

- Level of Hemoglobin

While a patient or their loved ones can suggest plasma therapy to a doctor, it usually the medical experts who will be in the right position to decide if the patient needs plasma therapy.

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