SKIMS gets 'overwhelming response' to call for plasma donation

On Sunday evening, an SOS message splashed on social media sites seeking plasma for a 27-year old doctor admitted at SKIMS here. Within a few hours a COVID19 survivor came forward and donated the plasma.

As the convalescent plasma therapy (CPT), according to experts, has shown good results in treating critically-ill COVID19 patients, a good number of recovered patients are offering plasma to save others’ lives.

Plasma therapy involves transfusion of the blood plasma of a recovered patient into another patient. Plasma is the matrix on which the blood cells float. It also houses crucial components of immunity known as antibodies and, as such, plasma of a recovered COVID19 patient can help an existing one.

According to official figures, since the start of plasma therapy in Kashmir at SKIMS, the institute has got over 100 plasma donations.

Dr Rumana Hamid of Department of Blood Transfusion and Immuno-Hematology, said: “We have had over 100 plasma donations at SKIMS. People are overwhelmingly coming forward to donate plasma. Our department is open round the clock for plasma donations. Another important factor has been that there is not a single case of transfusion reaction among the patients.”

Several Non-Government Organizations have also come forward to facilitate donation of plasma by way of arranging logistics for donors and connecting the patients with the suitable donors.

“The Plasma therapy has somehow helped doctors to save the lives of those patients who are admitted in ICUs. It was the reason that we started an online group through which we started arranging plasma for patients admitted in SKIMS. So far we have arranged plasma for over 100 patients,” said Sajad Ahmad, a volunteer with SRO Batmaloo and COVID19 J&K Watch.

He said they have facilitated and motivated the donors to donate their plasma. He said they in collaboration with Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian Jammu and Kashmir arrange plasma for patients who are recommended by the ethics advisory committee of SKIMS for plasma therapy.

“I also donated plasma days after my COVID test came negative. My appeal to those who have defeated this disease is that they must come forward whenever there is need for their plasma according to their blood group,” said a journalist who has recovered from COVID19.

Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) for last one month had started convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) to treat COVID19 patients, and doctors say the results are encouraging.

Dr Salim Wani, Head Department of Urology, SKIMS, who recently recovered from the disease, donated his plasma and also encouraged others to do the same.

The medical institute has also set up a helpline for patients and donors for plasma therapy. SKIMS has installed a sophisticated machine for conducting plasmapheresis for such patients.