Hospitals around the world are seeking for plasma donors. Plasma from a fully recovered COVID-19 patient may able to save patients who currently tested positive and under treatment for Covid-19. By donating plasma one can save lives.
After infection Plasma from blood will contain virus antibodies. Antibodies produced when we are sick will help immune system to fight microbes like COVID-19. Thus, the donating plasma may help other patients to fight off the disease.
The liquid part of the blood that is collected from the novel Covid-19 disease from recovered patients is Convalescent plasma. It is caused by the SARS-COV-2. Patients develop antibodies in the blood against the virus.
Antibodies are proteins that help to fight foreign invaders like virus that cause infection. Convalescent plasma is being investigated for treatment of COVID-19 because so far there is no approved treatment for the disease. However, studies suggest plasma might help some patients to recover from Covid-19 infection.
Understanding antibodies and criticality of plasma donation:
After our body exposes to an infectious agent, immune system recognizes specific components called antigens of the pathogen and recognizes an outside invader. These antigens are targeted by our immune system and responds by making antibodies against those antigens. When after a viral infection IgM and IgA antibodies levels rise in the first 3-7 days following infections. This will gradually decline while the level of IgG increases after 12-17 days and remains for a long period of time. Levels of antibodies produced in testing and recording exposure and potential immunity. This is referred to as serological tests that helps to understand the antibodies made by human immune system.
Quantification of IgG, IgM and IgA helps to understand the antibody levels in a patient. The threshold for IgG antibody is titer of >1:320 (FDA recommendation). This level is used for determining if the convalescent plasma should be used in patient or not.
Who is eligible to donate plasma?
People who are totally, fully recovered from Coronavirus disease -COVID-19 infection for at least two weeks are eligible to donate their plasma. These people are encouraged by Health Institutes to donate plasma that might save lives of newly Covid-19 infected patients. Covid-19 convalescent plasma must be collected from individuals who are recovered from disease and must be eligible to donate blood. Because factors like weight, blood type and existing other health conditions are also considered while donating blood.
Apart from recovery, these donors must have had a prior diagnosis of Covid-19 documented by a laboratory test and meet donor criteria. Those who are willing to donate blood plasma must have complete resolution of the symptoms for at least 2 weeks -14 days prior to donation. According to CDC, a negative lab test for active Covid-19 disease is not necessary to qualify for blood donation. According to National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, “in majority of convalescent patients, high titers of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies are found if units of plasma are collected ≥14 days after resolution of symptoms. IgG antibody levels should be measured in donors who have become SARS-CoV-2 negative and have been asymptomatic for at least 14 days to assure adequate titers of IgG antibody in the donated plasma”
If you were a COVID-19 patient and your doctor has confirmed that you have fully recovered from the disease and no longer contagious, then you might be eligible to donate plasma. Contact your local hospital for further information how you can save lives of COVID-19 patients by donating plasma. World needs survivors like you!
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Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: October 5, 2020