To become a plasma donor, one must meet several criteria. First of all, they need to have tested negative for COVID-19.
What is Plasma?
Plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. It is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins.
- Composed of 90% water, plasma is a transporting medium for cells and a variety of substances vital to the human body.
- Plasma carries out a variety of functions in the body, including clotting blood, fighting diseases and other critical functions.
- Source plasma is plasma that is collected from healthy, voluntary donors through a process called plasmapheresis and is used exclusively for further manufacturing into final therapies (fractionation). Source plasma donors may be compensated for their time and effort.
- Recovered plasma is collected through whole blood donation in which plasma is separated from its cellular components. Recovered plasma may be used for fractionation.
With the country witnessing an acute crisis arising out of the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, there is a heavy demand for plasma from recovered patients but there is a shortage in hospitals. This plasma therapy involves taking antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing those into a COVID patient to help kick-start the immune system to fight the infection.
So, who can donate plasma at this critical time? To become a plasma donor, one must meet several criteria. First of all, they need to have tested negative for COVID-19 and recovered from the illness. They also should not have any symptoms for the last 14 days. Most importantly, they need to have high antibody levels in their plasma. Moreover, a donor and the patient must also have compatible blood types. Once the plasma is donated, it is screened for other infectious diseases, such as HIV.
One plasma is donated, each donor produces enough plasma to treat one to three patients. Moreover, donating plasma should not weaken the donor’s immune system, nor make the donor more susceptible to getting reinfected with the virus.
Here is the list of helpline numbers for plasma donation across the country
covidplasma.online -provides consolidated information on plasma resources