Facility to help people who are desperate for plasma from COVID-recovered patients
Mysore/Mysuru: Plasma therapy for critically ill COVID-19 patients is set to get a boost in Mysuru as a new Apheresis machine to extract blood plasma will arrive in city this afternoon or evening. The consignment has already left Solapur in Maharashtra.
It is called Apheresis Single Door Platelet and Plasma Machine and its arrival is significant as Mysuru can move forward head on to tackle the menace of Coronavirus.
About Apheresis: Apheresis is the process of collecting specific blood components such as plasma, using a cell-separating machine.
These machines separate the plasma for collection and return the remaining components (red cells, white cells, and platelets) to the donor. The collection of plasma by Apheresis is known as Plasmapheresis. This process allows collection of a greater amount of plasma than can be separated from individual whole blood donations.
DGCI clearance: The state-of-the-art machine is being procured by Jeevadhara Blood Bank near Government Ayurveda College on Sayyaji Rao Road. “Though some hospitals in city have procured such machines in the past, they do not have permission from Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) to extract plasma to treat COVID patients. Ours is the first institute in Mysuru to have the required permissions and licences to extract plasma,” Senior Trustee of Jeevadhara Blood Bank Manoj Kumar told Star of Mysore.
He added that the machine is being sent to Mysuru from Solapur in Maharashtra, manufactured by Span Diagnostics. The hi-tech machine has been purchased at a cost of Rs. 17 lakh. In plasma donation, as opposed to blood donation, only plasma is extracted and the other components of blood are returned to the body.
How does it work?
“In the normal process of plasma extraction, 350 to 400 ml blood is collected from COVID-cured patients that yield only 150 to 200 ml plasma after the process. Also, once blood is donated for plasma, the donor cannot donate blood for 90 days. With this machine, 500 ml plasma can directly be extracted from the donor. In this case, the donor can donate plasma after 14 days,” Manoj explained.
During a plasma donation, blood is drawn from the donation arm by a pump into a sterile single use disposable kit inside the cell-separating machine. Inside the Apheresis machine, there is a blood processing chamber that spins (centrifuges) the blood, separating it into layers.
Red cells are heaviest and sit at the bottom, platelets and white cells are in the middle and plasma is at the top as it is the lightest. The Apheresis machine is programmed to detect the plasma and divert it into a collection bag with the rest of the blood given back to the donor (red cells, white cells, and platelets).
Helpful for patients
“There is a rising demand for plasma among COVID patients. Plasma is not easily available and the patient’s attendants are forced to run from pillar to post in search of plasma from a recovered patient. People are also scared of stepping into a COVID hospital. This facility will help patients in need,” Manoj Kumar added.
Those who had the disease, but have recovered at least 14 days before the donation can be considered for plasma donations although doctors prefer a time of three weeks between recovery and donation.