Importance of Plasma Donations during Covid-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that is caused by a coronavirus. This virus affects the respiratory system of people. People infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate respiratory problems and can recover without any special treatment. Simultaneously, people who suffer from various pains like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, and other diseases are prone to develop severe illness.

We all can prevent the spread of this virus by keeping well informed of its causes and how it spreads. Many precautions such as frequently washing hands or using an alcohol-based rub, and most important is not touching the face. The COVID-19 virus spreads quickly when someone infected sneezes or coughs, as their saliva or the discharge from the nose drops on the surface. When someone has a cold or cough, it is good to cough into a flexed elbow. If someone is infected with the virus, they need to monitor their symptoms and self-isolate from others for 14 to 21 days. If the fever, cold, or tiredness persists after taking self-care, one must see a doctor. It’s always good to drink hot water, gargle your throat, take steam, and eat healthy foods, mostly fruits.

The virus survives on surfaces depending on the material. It can stay up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper, and less than 24 hours on Cardboard. Still, many scientists and doctors are searching for a permanent cure. Many vaccines are under trial, but we need to take care of ourselves first for not getting affected till it’s out. We need to take care of ourselves first. One way to save is through plasma or blood donation. Plasma is an extraction from previously infected individuals where antibodies are present to protect or treat humans. This convalescent plasma dates back from the past 100 years. Plasma has been used both as post-exposure prophylaxis and treating diverse infectious diseases in outbreaks like polio and pandemics like Spanish flu and now COVID-19. Plasma is a cure for many other diseases like Ebola, Influenza, Measles, Hepatitis B, Rabies, and Hemorrhagic fevers. Plasma can heal a person faster by clearing the viral condition identified in the early stages.

What is Plasma?

The blood is separated into four components.

  • Plasma
  • Red blood Cells
  • White Blood Cells
  • Platelets

Plasma is essential as it carries out several vital roles inside our body. It transports waste products as it makes up to 55% of our blood.

What’s in Plasma?

Plasma contains 92% of the water that helps fill up blood vessels and keep our blood and other nutrients moving through the heart. The additional 8% of plasma contains several materials like

  • Proteins
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Electrolytes

When blood gets separated from red blood cells and plasma, the plasma looks like a yellow-tinged fluid.

Essential Functions of Plasma:

Plasma’s primary use is to remove waste and regulate body temperature. The removal of waste from cellular functions helps to produce energy. Plasma accepts and transports this waste to other body areas, such as the Kidneys, Liver for excretion. Plasma can also help maintain body temperature by absorbing and releasing heat.

Why Plasma donations are needed?

During an accident or surgery, a lot of blood is lost at that time. Losing plasma can cause serious side effects on the body.

How to Donate?

We can donate can plasma in 2 ways. The first method is where we can donate whole blood. A laboratory separates the blood components, including plasma, as needed, and in the second method, only plasma is needed. We can do this through a Plasmapheresis. It’s a machine that takes in the blood from a vein into a centrifuge. This machine spins rapidly and separates plasma from other blood components.

Plasma is lighter than other components, so it rises to the top in this process. The machine keeps the plasma and sends other components like red blood cells back into your body. Plasma is stored frozen for a year till needed.

Who can donate?

Each blood bank may have different requirements regarding Plasma donation. General rules to donate plasma are:

  • One should be between age 18 to 69
  • Their weight should be at least 110 pounds
  • They have not donated plasma in the last 28 days

The 28 days rule is to allow the donor’s body to heal and repair. So, a person can donate Plasma 13 times in a year.

Bottom Line : 

The important thing is that the plasma helps with everything from regulating body temperature to fighting infection. Not having enough plasma can show many side effects. So, plasma donors are significant in our society to provide great help to others.

Vizag Volunteers is a group of people here to help people who need blood, plasma, or any COVID health-related problems. They are providing many COVID-19 service activities to the people in and around Vizag. To know more about the services, go through the website, and if you need any help, you can contact them through the helpline number provided.