PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa passive immunisation committee started collecting plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients to be used for the treatment of newly-infected patients following acceptance of its proposal by the government on Thursday.
The committee received first donation of plasma on Thursday from a patient recovered from Covid-19 that would be transfused to new patients after the plasma centre got approval by Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), a member of the committee told Dawn.
He said that DRAP had already approved the infrastructure. “Its approval as immunisation centre is awaited after which we will start offering plasma to those fitting the protocols,” he added.
He said that search was on to find potential donors among the recovered patients of coronavirus to transfuse their plasma to the newly-diagnosed patients for their treatment on a trial basis.
The committee has been working in collaboration with National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD), Karachi under the ministry of health to find treatment for the virus-hit patients and reduce the fatalities during the current crisis by saving lives of people.
Committee receives first donation of plasma to be used for treatment of two persons
The committee member said that there was a complete set of guidelines to seek consents of donors and recipients prior to the mandatory laboratory investigations.
“We are in perusal of healthy donors. It’s a difficult beginning, but we are hopeful that soon we will start getting more donors for the trials. We require the donors, who have recovered from the pandemic anywhere in a government hospital,” he said.
He said that they appreciated the health department for allowing the committee to start trials. “We hope it will be successful and the people will be the ultimate beneficiaries,” he said.
He said that the potential donors could preferably be men, below 55 years of age having no other ailment. “There is a proper protocol of selecting the donors and anyone fulfilling the same will be fit to donate blood at least 28 days from being diagnosed,” he added.
Another member of the committee said that they had started calling individuals, who had recovered, to inform them about the procedure and hoped that soon they would start getting response from more people.
“The plasma collected from one patient will be used for treatment of two patients. We will be taking around 850 to 900 millilitre that will be replaced by normal saline,” he said.
The committee has also developed a letter, asking the Covid-19 survivors that the pandemic has killed 122 people and infected more than 2300 people in the province so far. It has killed over 200,000 people worldwide and nothing is important than health of ourselves and our dear ones at this point in time, says the letter.
It says that health is the biggest blessing of Allah and He has saved you from the deadly Covid-19. “Research has shown that recovered patients from Covid-19 have antibodies in their plasma, which can be used for passive immunisation of other positive patients. Thus, you can be a source of treatment and hope of recovery for those, who are currently suffering from the horrific disease,” says the letter, addressed to the survivors.
It tells the survivor that his/her plasma donation can save two lives and it will not affect his/her health adversely at all and it will be replaced.
“This is Sadqa-i-Jaariyah (brings perpetual blessings to the donor) and you have been blessed with this opportunity. Saving one life is just like saving the whole humanity. So be generous and volunteer for this great cause,” says the letter.
The committee member said that the letter would also be translated in Urdu to convince donors and start full-scale procedures. The situation with regard to plasma immunisation in Lahore and Karachi is almost in the similar stage where the experts are looking for donors to be able to begin transfusion.
“The province has over 600 recovered patients and most of them would be willing to donate plasma,” said the committee member.
Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2020