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Convalescent refers to anyone recovering from a disease. Plasma is the yellow, liquid part of blood that contains antibodies. Nearly 55% of your blood is plasma. Antibodies are proteins made by the body in response to infections. Laboratories can separate plasma from blood with special devices called plasma tubes through a process called centrifugation.
What makes plasma a candidate for COVID cure is that it contains antibodies. When your body has fought an infection, the antibodies produced are stored in the plasma. That means if you’ve contracted COVID, then antibodies that can fight the COVID infection will be present in your plasma. The plasma from a person who has recovered from a disease is called convalescent plasma.
Doctors have found evidence that injecting a person who has been infected with COVID with convalescent plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID can help the patient heal faster having Early or Moderate disease.
According to the FDA, the best time to donate is about 2 weeks after you have completely recovered from your COVID infection.
To meet donor qualification, you need to produce evidence that you did indeed contract COVID. That means you will need your COVID positive test results The donor must visit the hospital/plasma bank centre where she/he will undergo tests to map the status of serum protein, CBC (complete blood counts) and ABO RhD blood group. Other tests include checking for the hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, HIV, malaria, and syphilis. Depending on how many days have passed since the recovery, the donor will also have to take an antibody screening test as per the ICMR kit method.
Donating plasma can save lives. Your antibodies can help someone fight the infection and emerge victoriously. If your COVID symptoms have been absent for more than 14 days, kindly consider donating as a service to humanity.
Just like during any regular blood donation session, blood will be drawn from your arm. It will be sent through special tubes that will separate the plasma from the blood.
Major blood banks accept plasma donations. You can call their helpline numbers and enquire. You can also search plasma donation camps near your area on the internet.
Donors ineligible for convalescent plasma donation:
The number of times one can donate, and how much.
As per ICMR guidelines, a donor can donate up to 500 ml of plasma (according to weight) more than once, with a gap of 15 days. 400 ml of plasma can save two lives. The process can last up to four hours (from tests to transfusion), and if the donor experiences discomfort, the machine can be detached immediately.
One person can help up to two people. The donor is advised against donating plasma more than two times a month.