COVID 19: How often can you donate plasma?

With the number of people affected by COVID-19 infection during the second wave only increasing by the day, the demand for the plasma of recovered patients has also gone up tremendously. However, many people still have some inhibitions about donating plasma thinking it might make them more susceptible to the infection once again. But that’s a myth and donating plasma can save lives, stress experts.

“The antibodies, which are present in your body, can help someone fight the infection and emerge victorious. 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, plasma will be drawn from your arm,” said Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder and director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals.

What is plasma?

Plasma is the clear liquid portion in the blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other cellular components are removed. It is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins. Plasma carries out a variety of functions in the body, including helping in removing clotting blood, fighting diseases, and other critical functions.

Who can donate plasma?

Anyone who has recovered from COVID within the last three-four months can donate plasma. Your antibodies that have fought the coronavirus and had defeated it are more than enough to help you to share your power to defeat COVID and help other people recover. You can come and donate every two weeks and help save lives. “There are only a few people that cannot donate plasma because they have received plasma themselves during their fight with COVID,” said Dr Bajaj.

One shouldn’t donate plasma if you are:

*Below 18 years and above 65
*Below 50 kgs of weight.
*Ever been pregnant in your life.
*You are suffering from any life-threatening diseases like kidney failure, on insulin for diabetes, cancer or you have just changed your medication for controlling hypertension, diabetes
*You have a tattoo or major surgery in the past six months

How to donate plasma?

To get yourself registered for plasma donation, call on 1031 or go on register yourself at www.delhifightscorona.in, which is India’s first plasma bank.

A pre-donation health check will be done on the phone itself to see if you qualify. If everything is found to be okay, a car will be sent to your house to pick you up or if you want to come in your own vehicle, travel reimbursement will be given. You need to come to ILBS’ Plasma Bank, which is a non-COVID area.

Here you will be tested again for the antibodies and have a few blood tests. The process takes about one and a half hours to check. Once all the tests come normal, you will be asked to come and donate. The donation itself takes about 20-25 minutes. Once you’ve donated you need to rest for about 15 minutes, have a refreshing drink and food which will be provided to you free of cost. Then you can go back and do your routine work.

“Donation is completely painless and harmless. There is no risk at all. You can do it every 15 days because we usually don’t take out any blood from you. The red blood cells are filtered and put back into your arteries. All we do is filter out water from your blood and that water is called plasma,” he said.

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