G H Chauhan (34) waited patiently outside a glass chambered room at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) as a doctor prepared a ‘Gaurav Patra’ to certify that he had donated plasma.
A CISF personnel, Chauhan tested positive for Covid-19 on May 26 while he was posted in Mehrauli. Once he recovered, the first thing on his mind was how he could help someone else. “Several CISF personnel posted to Delhi were infected. Some personnel had come on deputation and we had held meetings together. It appears the infection spread from there. I was admitted to AIIMS in Jhajjar and recovered within 14 days. A doctor told me plasma could help others, so here I am,” said Chauhan, who hails from Etawah.
It’s been five days since the first plasma bank opened in Vasant Kunj’s ILBS, and on an average more than 35 patients visit the facility to donate plasma every day.
According to a doctor, around 25 of those are deemed fit for donation, while others are deferred.
The plasma bank was inaugurated by CM Arvind Kejriwal, who has repeatedly urged recovered patients to come forward and donate.
“Anyone who has a history of a chronic illness like diabetes, hyperthyroid, etc cannot donate plasma. A woman who gave birth recently is also not eligible. Before the process, the person needs to have a meal to prevent weakness,” said Dr Noor Alam, posted at the plasma bank.
According to a doctor, many of those who donated plasma since the bank was inaugurated are doctors themselves.
Dr Astha Bhutiyani, a senior resident doctor at Deen Dayal Hospital, felt it is people’s “duty” to help others. “I got Covid in the hospital after I performed surgery on a patient who later tested positive. So many like me have tested positive while simply doing their work. I feel healthy after recovering and the donation might be of immense use to a person trying to recover. Especially a senior citizen,” she said.
Once the donation is carried out, an acknowledgment letter is given to the person from hospital authorities on behalf of the government, thanking the donor.
“When I tested positive, I was very worried since I live with my old mother and three-year-old son. I work in the nursing department of GTB Hospital and it is possible I got the infection there. I was contacted by a doctor who needed plasma so I came without hesitation. There is a stigma about recovery, but we need to be mentally strong. I have donated blood in the past as well, so it was a fairly smooth process for me,” said Moinuddin Hussain (24), who tested positive last month.
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