COVID-19 PANDEMIC has been knocking down the entire humankind with its virulent nature and with no proper vaccination or treatment available (Although trials are going on for vaccination as of now). The only ray of hope till the day is PLASMA THERAPY which is been successful in good number of cases.
Let’s just turn the clock and go back to the history how PLASMA THERAPY has been in action since 18th century. The first trial was made on 1892, for treating ‘Diphtheria’, using blood serum initially.
For treating ‘Scarlet Fever’ in 1920 and also ‘Pertussis’ later on, it is been successful in curtailing the mortality rate.
During the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, convalescent plasma was used as potential therapy with mixed results. It has been used in a variety of viral infections that includes Measles, Mumps, Argentine hemorrhage fever, Influenza, chickenpox, Infections by cytomegalovirus, Parvovirus B19 and more recently EBOLA, SARS.
PLASMA THERAPY is also known as “PASSIVE ANTIBODY THERAPY”, as the patient gains passive immunity to fight the virus.
Now let’s check out why plasma therapy has become so crucial in treating COVID-19.
Therapy mainly involves transfusion of certain components of blood from the person who got infected with virus and recovered to the people who are sick with the virus.
- Generally, production of Antibodies is the defense mechanism of the body to fight against the virulent/harmful organisms entering into the body.
- These Antibodies are secreted by the immune cells and are found in plasma or the liquid part of the blood that helps the blood to clot when needed there by supporting the immunity.
- Scientists say that, these antibodies attacks the spikes on the outside of virus thereby blocking the virus from penetrating into the human cells.
- The suitable donors for donating the PLASMA are those whose infection has began 28 days prior.
- However, 10-15% infected people don’t develop antibodies post COVID infection because they either develop T-cell immunity or dominant IgA antibody response in respiratory mucosa and not systemic IgG response.As we’ve seen how and why plasma therapy is so important, let us see who can donate their plasma for helping the covid-19 victims.
- Donor Age should be in between 18-55 yrs and with NO comorbid condition.
- Women donors should be either unmarried or married with no children.
- PLASMA THERAPY is effective in lowering the death rates only when the sick, infected individual receives the plasma with covid-19 antibodies particularly early in their diagnosis.
- However, the PLASMA THERAPY may flunk in few individuals as the antibodies lasts only for short period.
- All the precautionary measures are meant to be taken mandatory, as there are chances for TRANSFUSION associated reactions in some individuals.
With being taking some necessary precautions, we can help our friends and family who are affected with covid-19 by donating our plasma. Let us bring awareness among the people that there is no need to be afraid in donating the plasma.