Updated: April 17, 2021 8:45:53 pm
With demand for convalescent plasma on the rise for Covid-19 patients, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has decided to give Rs 2,000 to each donor.
BJP, which rules the PCMC, said the move is aimed at encouraging more donors to come forward and donate their plasma. At the same time, it has also been decided to provide free plasma bags to private hospitals where Covid patients are treated. Each plasma bag is worth Rs 6,000.
“Plasma therapy is proving to be a boon for Covid-19 patients. However, not many patients who have recovered from coronavirus are coming forward to donate their plasma. As a result, we have decided to give Rs 2,000 to each donor who steps forward to donate his/her plasma,” Mayor Usha Dhore told The Indian Express on Saturday. With this move, PCMC is the first civic body in the state to offer financial compensation to plasma donors, officials said.
Dhore added, “Everyday, corporators are getting scores of calls from citizens seeking plasma. Messages on WhatsApp seeking plasma urgently have been doing the rounds for long. Due to wrong conceptions or fear, many patients who have recovered from Covid are not coming forward to donate. Until now, plasma donors were not paid anything. We hope our step will encourage more donors to step forward.”
BJP House leader in PCMC, Namdev Dhake, said they have also decided to give plasma bags free of cost to private hospitals in the PCMC jurisdiction. “We have no plans to give plasma bags free to private hospitals outside the PCMC limits. Our plan to provide these is only for patients admitted at private hospitals within PCMC limits,” he said.
The plasma donation process is being carried out at YCM hospital.
Dr Rajendra Wable, Dean at YCM Hospital, said, “Till now, we were charging Rs 6,000 per bag of plasma to private hospitals. For collecting one bag of plasma, the entire process costs PCMC Rs 12,000. Last year, when we were giving the bags free, people from Solapur, Satara, Kolhapur would land up at YCM hospital. The demand had increased considerably, but not many donations were taking place. Therefore, we have been facing shortage of plasma.”
Dhake said the step to give monetary assistance of Rs 2,000 to donors has been taken to encourage more donations. “We will give plasma free to private hospitals only if more donors come forward. Otherwise, it will be difficult for us to do so. That’s why we are trying to encourage more donors by offering them money,” he said.
Dr Wable said of over 1,53,000 Covid patients who have recovered in the last one year, only 3,000 have come forward and donated their plasma.
Dr Shankar Masolgi, who heads the plasma unit at YCM hospital, said those Covid patients who have recovered can donate their plasma. “They can do this one month after they have recovered. They can also donate their plasma in three months’ time. In short, after testing positive, they can donate plasma up to a period of four months,” he said.
Dr Masolgi said, “The process of collecting plasma takes about two-and-a-half hours. We draw 40 ml or 150 ml. It depends on the kind of machine that is used. Plasma is extracted from the blood and the blood is put back… Doctors at YCM said plasma therapy has proven to be successful for several patients.
“It works better than even a Remdesivir injection,” said a senior doctor.
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