This is what we did to find a plasma donor - A practical guide and a personal story

Update as on 18th May: On May 17, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Union health ministry removed the use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 from its clinical management protocols.
Though a trial by the ICMR on 400 patients last year — called the PLACID trial — had found no significant benefit from the use of plasma it continued to find a place in the recommended guidelines, in ‘off label’ use.

Source: The Hindu and India Today

One of our close team members recently fell in need of finding a plasma donor for her brother. We’d like to share how she and her family went about it and successfully managed to find one. 

Keep the following information ready:

  • Name of the patient
  • Age of the patient
  • Hospital name and address, the one where the patient is admitted
  • Oxygen saturation (SpO2 level)
  • Number of units required
  • Blood group
  • Aadhar card number of the patient
  • COVID-19 positive report of the patient
  • Plasma slip from the doctor - A document on the letterhead of the hospital duly signed by the on call doctor that states that the patient is in need of plasma of  a COVID survivor, stamped and signed
  • Name of attendant
  • Contact number of the attendant

Key things to know about who can donate Plasma:

  • Donor needs to have tested negative for COVID-19 and recovered from the illness. 
  • They should also not have any symptoms for the last 14 days.
  • Last date for testing negative for the donor. This is the first step to figure out whether a donor can donate or not. 
  • Though, the plasma donated is checked by the medical team and put through a number of medical procedures before being injected into the patient. 
  • The donor should not be having any pre-existing medical issues like high sugar, etc.

Act while staying updated with one another:

  • Think ahead and ask your doctor what might happen in the next couple of days and act accordingly. It might be easier to arrange plasma in 2-3 days rather than on the last day. This goes for all other things as well such as finding hospital bed, injections, oxygen etc.  
  • Form a working group and make a group on whatsapp and add whosoever is searching for the plasma. 
  • Assign duties to each member - like posting onTwitter to one person, filling in online forms to another, contacting potential leads to others etc. 
  • Upload posts, statuses and stories on facebook, instagram and whatsapp stating the name, age, blood group and location of the patient
  • Ask as many people as possible to share it on their respective stories and statuses
  • Post the same on all groups on whatsapp
  • Once the suggestions begin pouring in, call each and every number possible.
  • There will be blood banks, donor groups and individuals.
  • Tweet on twitter and tag groups and individuals who are actively helping out in plasma donation.
  • Join facebook groups and post the requirement.
  • Look for city specific information regarding plasma donation.
  • Register on on all websites and all apps that are offering plasma donation
  • Materialise each and every suggestion that you get one by one
  • Scan your contact list and try to remember who all have had COVID-19 recently. Check with them if they can donate plasma
  • Leave no stone unturned. You might have to touch base with 1000 potential donors before you find one.
  • Some plasma banks offer exchange. Any blood group plasma for any blood group plasma. See if you get someone to donate their plasma in exchange for what you are looking for.
  • When you find a donor, check the date on their COVID-19 negative report to confirm their eligibility

Know when to stop:

  • Once you get a confirmed lead, connect them to the attendant. 
  • Wait for the medical procedures to get over. Meanwhile, keep the dormant search on.
  • Post the completion, remember to remove all the posts and requirements in order to not block plasma for your patient. It can help someone else in need
  • Keep the valid contacts and links handy. Share them with people in need. It is most wise to share the information that you could personally verify.

If you are someone who has recovered from COVID-19, please donate plasma only after consulting your doctor. Encourage the survivors around you too to donate plasma. An act of donation can help in saving someone’s life.

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