Hyderabad: On Thursday, Telangana Plasma Donors Association (TPDA) President Gudur Narayana Reddy, who is also a TPCC Treasurer, urged Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan to direct the State Government to establish mobile units for plasma collection to save the lives of people affected by COVID-19.
Narayana Reddy, who has recently recovered from corona, expressed serious concern over the low pace of Convalescent Plasma Therapy in treating patients in Telangana. He appreciated the Governor for highlighting the importance of plasma donations during her recent visit to the ESIC Hospital. He said that the State Government should take immediate measures to boost the use of plasma therapy for the treatment of cases.
The TPDA President said that plasma therapy was being implemented globally as one of the effective methods of treatment, especially in lieu of dedicated medicines to treat coronavirus patients. He pointed out that the U.S. FDA has approved the use of plasma from recovered patients to treat people who are critically ill with the virus. The method has been used in the past to treat diseases such as polio, measles, and mumps, in the 1918 flu epidemic. He said that the Placid Trial conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) by involving 52 institutions has given encouraging results. However, he said that the investigators who were involved in the Placid Trial have pointed out that the patients must receive the plasma within five to ten days of their diagnosis. The plasma must be fresh and belong to a recovered person who was asymptomatic.
Therefore, Narayana Reddy said that it would be a challenging task for the TPDA to identify the eligible donors and convince them to donate their plasma to a deserving recipient as there were no mobile plasma collection units. These mobile units will be less infectious, more flexible and donors will come up for plasma donation more enthusiastically. “Donors are now required to visit the hospital where COVID-19 patients are being treated. The fear of getting exposed to the hospital-acquired virus is stopping many recovered patients from donating their plasma. They also fear that those accompanying them during their visit to the hospital might get infected. Therefore, it would be ideal if the authorities organise Mobile Units to collect plasma,” he suggested.
Quoting the statistics from the official Media Bulletin, Narayana Reddy pointed out that as on July 22, as many as 37,666 people have recovered from COVID-19 while there were 11,155 active patients. He said only a few hundred were suffering from moderately severe illness. Therefore, all these lives can be saved if the State Government takes measures on a war footing basis.
Narayana Reddy informed that the Telangana Plasma Donors Association has already launched an awareness campaign to convince recovered patients to donate their plasma. In many cases, recovered patients are willing to donate plasma. But their families and friends were not approving it due to the fear that it might deteriorate their health condition. He said that such misconceptions should be cleared and people should be made aware that plasma donation was totally safe and a noble cause.
He requested the Governor to intervene and ask the State Government to set up Mobile Units for plasma collection.