New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government on Monday announced setting up of a plasma bank for the treatment of covid-19 patients. Delhi was one of the first states to have given a go-ahead for plasma therapy in April.
The facility will be set up at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) and will be made available for government and private hospitals after getting a doctor’s recommendation. Delhi tops the country's list of highest cases in a city with the tally at 83,077. Of these, 27847 are active cases, while over 52,000 patients have recovered from the disease.
Addressing a press conference, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said looking at problems being faced by patients in arranging plasma, a common bank was being created. It is not mandatory for patients to reach out to the bank to undergo plasma therapy.
“Plasma can be given by those people who have had covid-19 and have recovered. If the antibody from their blood is given to a patient suffering, they can recover faster ... This will be the first plasma bank in the country. Our aim is to make the process of plasma easier," he said. "If a patient wants to get plasma on their own, they can continue doing that... The hospital/doctor will approach ILBS. This bank will be functional in two days."
The therapy requires drawing blood from patients who have recovered from covid-19 and using the plasma and antibodies from that blood on patients who are suffering. Unlike blood donation, only the plasma is drawn from the blood. Doctors involved in the trial said they use the therapy on patients who are in the second stage of the disease, wherein lungs get affected.
“Over the past few days I am seeing that there is a lot of problems being faced when it comes to getting plasma. Delhi was the first state in the country to start a trial for plasma therapy. We conducted a trial and the results were very promising," Kejriwal said. "There are two things that happen to a patient during corona – oxygen levels decline and respiration levels increase. If plasma is given, both these levels show improvement. The central government gave its go ahead for plasma therapy."
Appealing to patients who have recovered to come forward and donate plasma, Kerjiwal said, "Use this opportunity to help save other people’s lives. There is no guarantee that plasma will save everyone. If a patient is in a moderate state, it is helpful for them. “