Donating Plasma for Covid-19? Here’s All You Need to Know

/ Lifestyle

Today, 915 coronavirus cases were reported in Qatar – raising the total number of cases to 97,003. 115 people have died and 2 new deaths have just been reported. To help people survive and recover, individuals from across the nation are coming forward to donate plasma for Covid impacted patients. Their plasma consists of antibodies that battled against the infection and so the antibodies can help the current carriers. The virus has no cure. Some medications – depending on the person’s case, and plasma donations are the doctor’s best bet.

Sidra Medicine, a member of the Qatar Foundation has come up with a faster testing method for Covid-19 which uses a pre-treatment of the specimen (swab sample) to replace the ribonucleic acid (RNA) extraction process, currently needed for COVID-19 testing. This will allow the doctors to test more people and give the results faster, so that the patients tested positive can start with their treatment. With the prime minister ending the working hours’ restriction and opening specific markets in the upcoming week, the cases are anticipated to rise.

If you’ve defeated coronavirus, you can donate plasma today to save lives in Qatar. Donating plasma is similar to donating blood. It is not a painful experience and plasma therapy dates back to decades. It has always been a popular mean to rid people of contagious illnesses.

How do I know if I am eligible to donate plasma?

You need to have fully recovered from the virus and should be tested negative. The ideal time to donate plasma is 14 to 28 days after recovering. If you’re underweight, have underlying health conditions that may be triggered, are pregnant or of less age, you might not be allowed to donate plasma. Before the donation, there might be a screening test, to rule out the possibilities of you not being fit enough to donate.

Can I donate plasma if I’ve never had Covid-19 to Covid patients?

Previously, only people having recovered from the virus could donate plasma to their specific blood groups. However, some people have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies without ever being infected with the virus. If you test positive for the antibodies, then you can donate plasma to a corona patient.

What happens during the plasma donation?

When you check-in, you’ll most probably be asked to fill a consent form, have your temperature and other vitals taken and then a specialist will insert a needle into your arm. It will only prick once, and won’t be painful. A special machine will then separate the plasma from the red blood cells. The red blood cells will be returned to the donor. The entire process can take up to thirty minutes and during this time you can sip onto something healthy or have a snack.

Is donating plasma dangerous?

90% of the people experience no issues and only 0.5% have a serious problem whilst donating plasma. The common issues include dizziness, nausea, fainting, hematomas and bruises. Donating plasma is not dangerous. In fact, all that donated plasma will be regenerated in the body.

A Qatari woman shares her experience:

“My entire family tested positive for Covid. My children and I recovered within days. My little daughter was asymptomatic so she didn’t even feel impacted. However, my husband’s health started to deteriorate. A week after we tested negative, he started developing sores all over his body and couldn’t speak without huffing and puffing! We thought that he was impacted badly so it would take him time to recover but his fever never went away. After twenty days of extreme weakness, his body stopped producing an adequate amount of oxygen and his levels fell below 60! At that time, the doctors said that he required B+ plasma. Luckily, we share the same blood group. I went to the plasma donation center set up at Hamad Medical Corporation’s Communicable Disease Center. I had already been tested negative but an antibody test was done. After that, it took about forty-five minutes for the plasma donation process. It didn’t hurt, and I was given juice. The plasma was then preserved and we took it from them the next day. My husband is now in his recovery stages. Please, donate. Save a life!”

Recommended Read: Coronavirus Vaccine in the UAE


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