Mumbai: Dr Neil Pinto and Karina Thakrar builds centralised network of plasma donors for recovery of critical Covid patients

Intending to connect plasma donors with COVID-19 patients in various parts of the country, to facilitate plasma therapy which can help in the recovery of critical COVID-19 patients, 23-year old Dr Neil Pinto and 22-year-old Karina Thakrar have developed an online platform named as PINT- network through which they have helped over 400 Covid patients in getting plasma on-time across 12 cities. However the Indian Council of Medical Research have found out that plasma therapy isn't effective in Covid-19 treatment, doctors in the city still rely heavily on it.

It is a non-profit startup which was developed in July last year where it received a good response from the needy patients. So far on their website, around 3,500 patients seeking plasma and around 250 donors have registered themselves. Most of the demands are coming from Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

“There is a huge shortage and unavailability of plasma at the right time and right place across hospitals in India. We are keen on solving these challenging problems by building a centralised network of plasma for the recovery of COVID-19 patients. We at PINT believe a single action can make a difference in this pandemic, and collective action can greatly impact the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr Pinto. Moreover, people are now gradually opening up to the idea that once they are COVID-19 free, they can help others suffering from the disease.

Describing the process, Dr Pinto said that an algorithm can match donors with patients based on the criteria prescribed in the guidelines in real-time. Both donors and patients register on our platform by filling in a form with their contact details and medical history. Our algorithm matches the donors with the patients based on their location and blood group and general donation criteria. Once we’ve created a successful match, we provide the patient with the donor's details to enable them to connect and take the process forward,” he added.

Donors and patients can both submit their details on two forms on the website that include details about their blood group, details of any ailments and confirmation of being a COVID-19 patient.

Karina Thakrar, co-founder said they are in contact with all the private and civic-run hospitals in the city and they are in continuous talks with them over demand for plasma. However, the demand has reduced compared to the initial days when the website was started. “There is a lot of fear and stigma surrounding plasma donation. Several recovered patients are unwilling to revisit a hospital setting and we’ve taken it upon us to turn that around and help recovered patients become the warriors our country needs to fight this disease,” she said.

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