“We are not claiming that 100% of lives will be saved through plasma but it has been effective in treating people until now,” said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, inaugurating the capital’s second plasma bank at Lok Nayak Hospital.
The CM also said the recovery rate in the capital has increased and fatalities have reduced: “Earlier, in 100 tests, 35 used to come positive; now, only 7 or 8 people out of 100 are found to be positive. The number of fatalities due to Covid-19 has decreased. In mid-June, there were about 101 deaths per day but there are about 40 now. All of us together have to reduce it further.”
He said over 200 people have taken plasma from ILBS, the city’s first plasma bank, so far.
“We have three counsellors who are trying to motivate patients discharged from the hospital to donate plasma. Many of our staff who have recovered are willing to donate. On the first day, four employees of Lok Nayak donated plasma,” said Lok Nayak Medical Director Dr Suresh Kumar.
Among them was Virender Kumar Basoya (44), a pharmacist at the hospital who recovered from Covid in May and was the first to donate plasma.
“It will not cost me anything to donate plasma but it will save the lives of two people suffering from Covid. From my experience, I have learnt not to panic when you are in a situation like this. I also encourage others to come forward to donate plasma,” he said, after donating plasma around 11 am. By noon, he was back on duty.
Nursing orderly Mukesh Kumar also donated plasma. “I work in the blood bank and got Covid in March. I have seen people struggle with the disease and this is my way of paying the hospital back,” he said.
Dr Sunil Kumar, in-charge of the plasma bank, said patients who come under the moderate category are administered the therapy: “It keeps them from entering into the severe category.”
On the process, he said the machine is designed in such a way that it collects blood, retains the plasma, and sends the remaining components back into the body: “We are collecting 400 ml of plasma from one person. It is then given to two people who need it — 200 ml each.”
“Previously, we were conducting plasma trials along with ILBS. Now, we want to make it available to anyone who needs it and have started the plasma bank,” said the Lok Nayak MD.
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