HMC starts treatment of Covid-19 patients by collecting convalescent plasma

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PESHAWAR: The Hayatabad Medical Complex formally started treatment of corona patients from plasma of those healthy patients who were Covid-19 positive.

HMC has become the first health institution in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that has started collecting convalescent plasma for treatment of Covid-19 patients

According to the hospital administration
HMC has signed memorandum of understanding with the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD)Karachi led by Dr. Tahir Shamsi.

PRO of HMC said that
The plasma donor is Dr. Salman working in the cardiology department who was affected with the virus whilst on a duty almost a month back and has since made a complete recovery.

Alamgir, a Class -IV employee of the hospital, has volunteered himself for the charity by donation of plasma.

The KP government has formed a committee under the chairmanship of Prof Shahtaj Khan, head of hematology department HMC.

The committee will provide all facilities in a timely manner by expanding the plasma processing machine and all related arrangements in the laboratory.

The administration said that there are no side effects of plasma donations and The plasma drawn from one recovered person can help two people.

What is Convalescent Plasma Therapy?

Convalescent Plasma Therapy is an experimental procedure for COVID-19 patients. In this treatment, plasma from a COVID-19 patient who has recovered from the disease, is transfused into a coronavirus patient who is in critical condition.

History of plasma therapy:

Discovered by German physiologist Emil von Behring, plasma therapy was first used in 1890. In 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recommended the plasma therapy to treat Ebola virus disease. The plasma therapy was also used during Spanish flu pandemic. During the H1N1 infection of 2009, doctors used plasma therapy to treat patients

China, where coronavirus outbreak first emerged, had used this treatment to treat critical COVID-19 patients. Two trials of plasma therapy was conducted on 15 coronavirus patients and they showed improvement. At this moment, the ICMR does not recommend this as a treatment option outside of clinical trials.

Several countries around the world including United Kingdom and United States have also started plasma therapy trials.

Process of Plasma donation

The process for donating plasma is similar to donating blood and takes about an hour , according to Houston Methodist. Plasma donors are hooked up to a small device that removes plasma while simultaneously returning red blood cells to their bodies. Unlike regular blood donation in which donors have to wait for red blood cells to replenish between donations, plasma can be donated more frequently, as often as twice a week.

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