Plasma therapy has been identified as one of the most effective COVID-19 treatments for critical patients in India. The process involves extracting antibodies from the blood of someone who has recently recovered from the virus to treat critical COVID-19 patients. Sadly, despite India crossing the 20 million case count, the country continues to struggle for plasma donors.
Something similar recently happened with Shivi Talwar, Ship Broker, Hopp Worldwide Ltd. She and her family spent precious hours looking for a plasma donor for her aunt. It was a long and tedious process and all the misinformation circulating on social media did not help either. Multiple leads and rejections later, they were able to find a donor for her aunt after 20 hours of effort.
Now, that's a lot of time for a critically ill patient and recognising the same, Shivi drew out some learnings from her experience and shared them with POPxo in a recent conversation.
We know how every single minute counts when you are seeking a plasma donor for a loved one. Here is a list of steps that you can take to hasten the process and save time:
While it is a stressful situation, you need to keep calm and think of the available options. You'd need your cool to think objectively, take a moment if that's what you need to collect yourself. Try to comfort the patient and the rest of the family members.
It is way easier to find a donor and successfully complete the process when they are somebody you know. Identify your friends and family members who recently recovered from COVID-19 and urge them to donate plasma.
You can not do it all by yourself. Dividing the tasks between your family and friends will hasten the process and make it more seamless for all of you. Reach out to everyone who is willing to help and allocate responsibilities among them.
Begin with the blood group that you are looking for so that the donor can directly donate. For instance, look for a B+ blood group donor if that is what the patient needs. However, allocate a limited time window (say 2 to 4 hours) to this process. Specific blood groups are harder to find and that is why it is important that you do not waste too much time looking for them in case there is no success in the initial time window.
If you can’t find the required blood group, look for any group that is available. Some hospitals and blood banks like ILBS, Rotary, etc. exchange plasma. Identify them beforehand. You can also register on Dhoondh.com for the process.
For the plasma therapy process to begin, you would need a photocopy of the patient’s medical report and blood sample. You will also need a copy of the donor’s positive and negative RT-PCR report along with their Aadhaar card.
Keep multiple donor options because there would be rejections. As Shivi shares, "Our initial donors were rejected ‘coz of thyroid and low haemoglobin issues." You can also screen the donors before taking them to the hospital to save time. Here are some groups that have been exempted from plasma donation:
-Women who have conceived a child
-Those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine
-Those who themselves received plasma for the COVID-19 treatment
-Those above 65 years and below 18 years of age
-Those who have diabetes or blood pressure issues
-Those who weigh less than 55 kgs
-Those who have thyroid
Here is the patient information that you'd need to amplify while asking for plasma donations:
-Patient name & age
-Blood group of patient
-Blood group needed
-Attendant’s name & number
Shivi had multiple re-shares within minutes of asking for plasma donors on her Instagram. The truth is that the internet works and amplifying your requirements on social media will really help you in finding multiple leads.
Verify your leads by texting if calling is not helping. Filter fake leads and inform the person who has shared these leads with you. This is important to stop misinformation and saving someone from wasting precious time while trying to find leads for a loved one.
Please donate plasma if you have recovered from COVID-19 recently and also urge others around you to do the same.
Featured Image: Instagram