Donating Plasma: All you need to know about plasma donation
Since the pandemic hit, we’ve all come across plasma donation for COVID over the news and on social media. But when faced with the 2nd wave of the coronavirus, our daily infection numbers became sky-high. And therefore, the need and requests for convalescent plasma too went up.
Although plasma therapy has been around in India for a while, it is only since 2020 that we started hearing the term more often. In this article, we help you understand the basics of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19 and why it’s important that you consider donating.
What is plasma donation??
The liquid portion of our blood is called plasma. Comprising of 55% of the human body, this yellow-colour liquid contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies, and proteins. Plasma is separated from our blood in labs which can then be injected into patients to help them get better. Convalescent plasma is the plasma that is extracted from a person’s blood who has recovered fully from the infection. Convalescent plasma contains antibodies that can help those currently suffering from the disease fight it.
Who can donate plasma??
Not everyone who has recovered from COVID-19 can donate plasma. There are several criteria one has to meet to become a convalescent plasma donor:
- Be aged between 18 to 60 years,
- Be at least 50kgs of weight,
- Have a negative COVID-19 test result,
- Have no COVID-19 symptoms over the last 14 days,
- Have high anti-body levels and be free of any other infections in your plasma,
- Be of compatible blood type to the patient.
Should you donate?
If you meet the above criteria, yes! It is crucial to fight off the infection not just for you but also for saving those who are suffering and are deemed critical. Moreover, plasma donation is considered a safe procedure. It does not affect or weaken the immune system of the donor. Neither does donation make the donor more vulnerable to a re- infection.
Where can you donate?
There are several pan-India directories, blogs, and websites on the internet that can help you find a centre near to you. Here’s are a few links you can check out: