Donating Plasma: Here’s Everything You Need To Know!

The numbers of second-wave COVID-19 infections are increasing by the day, and the need for plasma donation from recovered patients is going up tremendously.
However, many people still have some restraints & doubts about plasma donating, thinking that plasma donation will weaken their immunity, making them more susceptible to the infection again.

But they should know that it’s just a myth, and plasma donation from recovered patients can save lives.

Plasma therapy has been acknowledged as an effective form of treatment for COVID for quite some time now. We have all heard of doctors & nurses, and everyday people donating plasma to save lives and help fight against COVID.

Want to know more about plasma donation and how you can volunteer, read on.

What is plasma?

Plasma is the transparent liquid part of the blood that remains after RBCs, WBCs, platelets, and other cellular parts are excluded.

It is the most significant portion of human blood, constituting about 55 %, and contains water, salts, antibodies, proteins, and other enzymes.

Plasma carries out various critical functions in the body, including helping in removing blood clots, combating diseases.

Convalescent plasma

A method called centrifugation is used to separate plasma from the blood.
Plasma from a recovered person contains antibodies against COVID.

If you’ve contracted COVID and recovered entirely, then antibodies that fought the viral infection will be present in your plasma, and that plasma is called convalescent plasma.

Doctors have evidential proof that injecting convalescent plasma into a patient who has recently contracted COVID can help the patient heal faster.

I Have Fully Recovered From COVID-19. Am I Eligible to Donate Plasma?

People who are entirely recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are recommended to donate plasma, which can save other lives and help India fight against COVID.

COVID-19 convalescent plasma should only be collected from recovered individuals and only if they are eligible to donate blood. People donating plasma must have documentation of a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 and meet other donor criteria.

A negative lab test for COVID-19 is not mandatory for donation, but donors must have complete symptom resolution for at least 2 weeks before donation.

One shouldn’t donate plasma if you are:

  • If you are above the age of 65 or below 18.
  • If your body weight is below 50kgs.
  • If you are pregnant.
  • If you are suffering from any long-term diseases such as diabetes or kidney failure or have just changed your medication to treat those conditions.
  • If you had a tattoo done or significant surgery in the past six months.

How to donate plasma?

To get yourself listed for plasma donation, call 1031 or go to a donation center nearby to donate yourself.
A virtual pre-donation health check will be done to see if you are eligible for donation.

If you are found eligible, then a pick-up will be sent to your house, or travel recompense will be provided if you want to come in your vehicle.

You can go to ILBS Plasma Bank —India’s first plasma bank, a non-COVID space.

A few blood tests will be done at the bank, and you will be tested again for the antibodies.

The whole process takes about one and a half hours to complete. Once all the test results come back normal, you will be taken for donation.

Once you’ve donated, which will take about 20-25 minutes, you will be provided with refreshing drinks and food. After taking a short rest, you can go back to your routine.

I Haven’t Had COVID-19; how Can I Help With The Donation?

Consider donating blood; donor centers have undergone a dramatic decline in blood donations due to the implementation of social distancing rules and the subsequent cancellation of blood donation drives.

Blood is required every day to administer life-saving procedures on various patients. One blood donation can save up to 3 lives.

You can help ensure that blood supply continues to be available for patients by volunteering for blood donation.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors