Published:  12:35 PM, 13 April 2021 Last Update: 01:52 PM, 13 April 2021

Donating convalescent plasma to COVID-19 patient

Donating convalescent plasma to COVID-19 patient

COVID- 19 cases are interestingly increasing suddenly! It’s a concern because a new variant of COVID-19 virus called South African variant has been spreading throughout Bangladesh. A worrying sign that young adults has been getting infected with this new strain. Jabs, we are using, are less effective against South African variant. However, experts say continuing inoculation will reduce mortality and severity.IN govt. hospitals, peoples couldn’t manage any ICU’s for a patient due to overload, meanwhile, cases are increasing. Bangladesh govt. announces for a strict lock down to drop the increasing cases to minimum. Days are gone through discolored because of peoples having lack of knowledge to personal hygiene and reluctant to wear musk .one side could not manage ICU’s and other side some are managed but most of them need either convalescent plasma or tocilizumab injection (a costly injection which inhibits binding of inflammatory mediators like Interleukin-6 with its receptor) or combined! A bizarre situation! Peoples of Bangladesh should be aware about their health and should follow the health guidelines of the government mentioned as a notice previously. Otherwise, it would be uncontrolled to beat. That’s why the question beyond opening the schools, colleges are either a boomerang or not.

Nowadays, a word, convalescent plasma looks new but antique. ‘’Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is removed from the blood of a person who has recovered from a disease containing a particular antibody. Plasma collected from COVID-19 recovered patient is known as COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) that can be used for other patients to boost up passive immunity.(ref:Bangladesh journal online).’’ Applying convalescent plasma therapy is not a newish therapy, it was inaugurated during Spanish flu epidemic era. However, as no specific treatment for coronavirus is established, we should go for supportive and symptomatic treatment. Here, preventive and supportive care are a dominant approach.

Who has the eligibility for donating convalescent plasma? Potential donors or volunteers must have the age more than or equal to 18 years, documented as having coronavirus infection formerly, be symptoms free at least 14 days and must meet all eligibility for blood donation requirements. But, a body who was vaccinated for covid-19 cannot be selected as a convalescent plasma donor. Mostly, get confused, a vaccinated man cannot donate neither blood nor convalescent plasma. Wrong conviction! According to the Red Cross, a vaccinated body can donate blood to anybody if the vaccines were manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer. That indicates, when a donor or volunteer is symptom free and feeling well at the time of blood donation, can donate blood without waiting any further. But, if donors are eligible, received a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine or do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they received, must wait for two weeks before donating blood. But CCP therapy for pregnant and nursing mother has not yet been evaluated.

CCP therpy generates some adverse effects to recipients though they are adequately clinically practiced .Adverse effects include allergic reactions .e.g. urticaria,pruritus etc., fluid overload, lung damage, cardiac rhythm irregularities and blood clotting. There is a chance of transfusion-transmitted infection including HIV,hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. But the risk of that type of infection is very low. Nothing serious will be occurred which directing to lethal cause doctors are adequately practiced and experienced clinically.  

COVID-19 is now a global pandemic with no specific treatment. The changing strains of coronavirus is posing a serious therapeutic dilemma for the clinicians and there is an urgent need for therapies that could help reduce patient mortality. Amid therapeutic dilemmas, convalescent plasma therapy might have some therapeutic potential. Wishing, Plasma therapy might produce a notable improvement in patient symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection. Although there is some preliminary compile that plasma therapy might improve patient mortality but this fact needs to be validated through organized RCTs. Despite the potential benefits, plasma therapy has significant limitations and lack of availability is the major. The early use of convalescent plasma therapy may be considered as an adjuvant for critically-ill COVID-19 patients. 

Lastly, as there is no specific treatment for coronavirus infection, peoples who have eligibility to donate convalescent plasma, please donate, help others to battle COVID 19 and make barriers against it.




                                                                                                            Nayem Ahmed Omi,  5th year MBBS Student,

                                                                                                                             Dhaka Medical College


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