NAGPUR

Doctors prescribing plasma, Covid patients too asking for it | Nagpur News

Nagpur: There could be differing views regarding the use of convalescent plasma therapy for Covid, but doctors are using it to treat patients and more importantly, getting good results. The almost doubled demand of RBD-Plasma in the city indicates that the therapy is being used more now than it was in the first wave.
“We used to provide around 30 bags of RBD plasma every day during the September 2020 peak. In March, this number has gone up to 60 bags daily,” said Dr Harish Warbhe, medical director of Lifeline RBD Plasma bank.
The State Covid Taskforce has allowed the use of RBD plasma for which the guidelines were issued on March 23.
“Trials of the plasma therapy may have been stopped in country, but the RBD plasma is benefitting many. This therapy is advisable in the early phase. Good quality plasma has the potential to bring down the viral load to zero within 24 hours,” said Dr Warbhe.
Plasma is in high demand in many private hospitals. Even NGOs are being approached by relatives of patients for plasma. Many NGOs go through a tough time while getting plasma donors. Doctors of leading private hospitals admitted that they are using plasma for many patients and its giving them the desired results.
The plasma therapy trials conducted in India last year were about blind plasma – plasma from any patient who recovered from Covid-19. According to those who advocate plasma therapy, a certain amount of antibodies is a must in the plasma for which the RBD test is conducted.
In October, when deaths due to Covid-19 increased in Bhandara district, the administration had organized a donation camp in which 100 bags of plasma was collected. The death rate in Bhandara reduced significantly after that. After 18 deaths due to Covid in the last three days, the district administration has decided to conduct another plasma donation camp this week.
Plasma use for Covid-19 treatment is more in practice in some western districts in Pune circle. While the recovery rate is on the higher side, fatalities are under control, said doctors.
In Vidarbha, there is a need to promote plasma donation. Doctors have appealed to all those who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate plasma after 14 days of recovery. To ensure the quality of plasma and amount of antibodies in it, one must undergo RBD testing which is a simple blood test. Those eligible can donate plasma after every 28 days.
Blood shortage in peripheries
Many districts in Vidarbha, especially rural parts, are witnessing an acute shortage of blood. On Sunday, Buldhana’s guardian Minister Rajendra Shingne appealed to people to voluntary take part in blood donation despite restrictions in the district. “Blood banks have enough stock but many are delivering blood bags only after getting donors. With more restrictions in place from Tuesday, voluntary blood donation is likely to take a hit. Donors must come forward during this tough time,” said Dr Warbhe

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