Post COVID ::

(1) Discharge and after-care

Am I eligible to donate my blood plasma?


Plasma donation can be done 2-3 weeks after complete recovery from COVID-19. Your eligibility for donation can be determined by a plasma donation center, but plasma donors need to meet the following criteria:

  • Should be at least 18 years old
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds or 50 kilograms
  • Must pass a medical examination
  • Complete an extensive medical history screening
  • Test non-reactive for transmissible viruses including hepatitis and HIV
  • Follow a recommended diet including 50 to 80 grams of daily protein
Before donating plasma it is important to:
  • Drink plenty of water or juice to be fully hydrated
  • Notify center personnel if you have had recent surgery
  • Notify center personnel if you have obtained a tattoo or piercing within the past 12 months
  • Notify center personnel if you are taking medication or are under a doctor's care for any medical condition
Sourced from: https://www.donatingplasma.org/who




Is it necessary to donate plasma if I have recovered from COVID-19?


Once a person has fully recovered from COVID-19, they may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating their plasma. Because they fought the infection, their plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies. These antibodies provided one way for the immune system to fight the virus when they were sick, so the plasma might be able to be used to help others fight off the disease. “We should not force people to donate plasma. If someone wants to donate plasma for the benefit of a clinical trial with a prosocial altruistic attitude, they should donate.” states Aparna Mukherjee, the ICMR scientist leading research on plasma therapy. Sourced from:
https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/icmrs-head-of-plasma-therapy-research-answers-questions-on-covid_in_5ec011efc5b642d79adba603




If I donate my blood plasma, how many patients can I help?


Clinical trials are underway to determine if using Convalescent Plasma for treating COVID-19. However, usually at a time, around 500ml of plasma can be taken, as plasma unlike blood, is 92% water, and can be donated every 15 days. It is very safe to donate plasma. So, one donation of plasma can help one patient. Sourced from: https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/icmrs-head-of-plasma-therapy-research-answers-questions-on-covid_in_5ec011efc5b642d79adba603




Where are the centers where I can donate plasma?


Clinical Trials are underway to determine if using Convalescent Plasma for treating COVID-19 and one can contribute to it by donating their Plasma. As per a notification dt.: 22.05.2020, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved Clinical Trials in the following hospitals:

  • Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute
As per the same notification, the following hospitals are under consideration:
  • Manipal Hospital
  • St John’s Medical College and Hospital
  • Apollo Hospitals (A unit of Imperial Hospital & Research Centre) Banerghatta Road
  • Karnataka Apollo hospitals, Sheshadripuram
  • Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre
If you are donating plasma after recovering from COVID-19, it is advisable that the hospital has obtained the necessary approvals for clinical trials. This ensures that the hospital has the ethical clearances and other facilities required for conducting clinical trials. For more information, refer to the following:
  1. Circular by ICMR dt.: 22.05.20 Click here
  2. Circular by ICMR dt.: 29.04.20 Click here




What is the plasma donation process?


The process of donating plasma is similar to donating blood and takes about 2 hours for the first donation. Return visits on average take about 90 minutes. Plasma donors are hooked up to a small device that draws blood, then separates the plasma from your blood, and returns the red blood cells to your body through a process called plasmapheresis.
Source: https://www.donatingplasma.org/how





(2) Plasma Therapy

What is Plasma?


Plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. It is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins. For more information you can visit ‘Donating Plasma’, an educational website sponsored by the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) Click here




What is Plasma Therapy?


When a person gets infected by a virus, then the body tries to fight the virus by producing a tool called ‘antibody’. These antibodies are not present in the body before the infection, but remain in the body after the infection and protect us for a long time. People who are recovering from the disease will have antibodies against the virus. As per Huffingtonpost’s interview with Aparna Mukherjee, the ICMR scientist leading research on plasma therapy - in plasma therapy, some part of blood which has these antibodies is taken and given to patients who are sick and hope that these antibodies will protect them. While this sounds good in theory, but we do not know how much it will work in reality. Plasma therapy is a known concept which has existed for more than 100 years. And currently, there are ongoing trials for the use of Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19.




At what stage of the disease is Plasma Therapy administered?


As per Huffingtonpost’s interview with Aparna Mukherjee, the ICMR scientist leading research on plasma therapy, this is not yet known. There are many trials being done across the world and theoretically, there are good papers that one could refer to. For more information, refer the paper on ‘The convalescent sera option for containing COVID-19’ by Arturo Casadevall and Liise-anne Pirofski, dt.: 13.03.20 Click here




Does Plasma Therapy work?


As per Huffingtonpost’s interview with Aparna Mukherjee, the ICMR scientist leading research on plasma therapy, at this moment, there is no concrete evidence to support the fact that convalescent plasma works with certainty in COVID-19. Only randomised controlled trials (clinical trials) can ascertain whether a particular drug works in a particular disease or not, and there are no completed randomised controlled trials on Convalescent Plasma. ICMR is currently doing a randomised controlled trial to find out whether it works in the Indian context or not. Convalescent Plasma should not be used as a treatment for COVID-19 outside of clinical trials because we do not know whether it works or not and it definitely has risks associated with it. For more information, refer to the circular by ICMR dt.: 22.05.20 Click here




What are the risks of administering Plasma Therapy?


According to Huffingtonpost’s interview with Aparna Mukherjee, the ICMR scientist leading research on plasma therapy, states that there are multiple risks involved and the top risks are listed below:

  • Plasma itself has certain risks which range from mild allergies to life threatening infections and drop in blood pressure.
  • Plasma can become a legal and ethical issue.




Has plasma therapy been used to treat any other diseases before?


This is not the first time convalescent plasma therapy is being considered as a treatment for viral infections and has been used to treat the following diseases:

  • In 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recommended the use of convalescent plasma therapy to treat patients with the antibody-rich plasma of those who had recovered from the Ebola virus disease.
  • For the treatment of people infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which is also caused by a coronavirus, a protocol for use of convalescent plasma was established in 2015.
  • During the 1918 H1N1 influenza virus (Spanish flu) pandemic, the therapy was used experimentally.
  • The plasma therapy was used as a treatment during the H1N1 infection of 2009.
Sourced from: https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/what-is-convalescent-plasma-therapy-possible-treatment-coronavirus-covid-19-1669050-2020-04-20





(3) Plasma Donation

Am I eligible to donate my blood plasma?


Plasma donation can be done 2-3 weeks after complete recovery from COVID-19. Your eligibility for donation can be determined by a plasma donation center, but plasma donors need to meet the following criteria:

  • Should be at least 18 years old
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds or 50 kilograms
  • Must pass a medical examination
  • Complete an extensive medical history screening
  • Test non-reactive for transmissible viruses including hepatitis and HIV
  • Follow a recommended diet including 50 to 80 grams of daily protein
Before donating plasma it is important to:
  • Drink plenty of water or juice to be fully hydrated
  • Notify center personnel if you have had recent surgery
  • Notify center personnel if you have obtained a tattoo or piercing within the past 12 months
  • Notify center personnel if you are taking medication or are under a doctor's care for any medical condition
Sourced from: https://www.donatingplasma.org/who




Is it necessary to donate plasma if I have recovered from COVID-19?


Once a person has fully recovered from COVID-19, they may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating their plasma. Because they fought the infection, their plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies. These antibodies provided one way for the immune system to fight the virus when they were sick, so the plasma might be able to be used to help others fight off the disease. “We should not force people to donate plasma. If someone wants to donate plasma for the benefit of a clinical trial with a prosocial altruistic attitude, they should donate.” states Aparna Mukherjee, the ICMR scientist leading research on plasma therapy. Sourced from:
https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/icmrs-head-of-plasma-therapy-research-answers-questions-on-covid_in_5ec011efc5b642d79adba603




If I donate my blood plasma, how many patients can I help?


Clinical trials are underway to determine if using Convalescent Plasma for treating COVID-19. However, usually at a time, around 500ml of plasma can be taken, as plasma unlike blood, is 92% water, and can be donated every 15 days. It is very safe to donate plasma. So, one donation of plasma can help one patient. Sourced from: https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/icmrs-head-of-plasma-therapy-research-answers-questions-on-covid_in_5ec011efc5b642d79adba603




Where are the centers where I can donate plasma?


Clinical Trials are underway to determine if using Convalescent Plasma for treating COVID-19 and one can contribute to it by donating their Plasma. As per a notification dt.: 22.05.2020, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved Clinical Trials in the following hospitals:

  • Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute
As per the same notification, the following hospitals are under consideration:
  • Manipal Hospital
  • St John’s Medical College and Hospital
  • Apollo Hospitals (A unit of Imperial Hospital & Research Centre) Banerghatta Road
  • Karnataka Apollo hospitals, Sheshadripuram
  • Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre
If you are donating plasma after recovering from COVID-19, it is advisable that the hospital has obtained the necessary approvals for clinical trials. This ensures that the hospital has the ethical clearances and other facilities required for conducting clinical trials. For more information, refer to the following:
  1. Circular by ICMR dt.: 22.05.20 Click here
  2. Circular by ICMR dt.: 29.04.20 Click here




What is the plasma donation process?


The process of donating plasma is similar to donating blood and takes about 2 hours for the first donation. Return visits on average take about 90 minutes. Plasma donors are hooked up to a small device that draws blood, then separates the plasma from your blood, and returns the red blood cells to your body through a process called plasmapheresis.
Source: https://www.donatingplasma.org/how





(4)Demise Due to COVID-19

What are the protocols in case of demise due to COVID-19?


Below Protocols as per Guidelines issued by Ministry of Health, GoI and Circular issued by Directorate of Health & Family Welfare Services, GoK Bangalore:

  • One medical personnel from COVID-19 Hospital would be the single point of contact for all details, support office, assistance & liaison with final cremation / burial ground and police would make record entries in register when handing over the body to family or relative
  • Viewing of the dead body at the time of removal from the isolation area may be allowed to do so with the application of standard precautions.
  • The body will be either handed over to the relatives (after swab collection for suspected cases, need not wait for test results) or taken to the mortuary
  • Viewing of the dead body (face end of the body bag) for the last time at crematorium or burial ground may be allowed but handled by the staff using standard precautions
  • Religious rituals such as reading from religious scripts, sprinkling holy water, and any other last rites that do not require touching of the body and keeping 4 metre distance can be allowed
  • Large gathering (more than 5) at crematorium / burial ground not allowed
  • The ash does not pose any risk and can be collected to perform the last rites
For more information, refer the following:
  1. GoI, MoHFW circular dt.: 15.03.20 Click here
  2. GoK, Directorate of Health & Family Welfare Services circular dt.: 17.04.20 Click here




Is there any support for burial/cremation processes?


Each COVID-19 Hospital will have a person dedicated as a single point of contact who should be equipped with details regarding the burial and cremation process. They will liaison with the burial and cremation grounds and arrange for safe transport to the site. Burial grounds for COVID-19 related deaths: According to an article by The Hindu dated 02 July 2020, the BBMP has identified 10 burial grounds in the periphery of the city for COVID-19 related deaths:

  • Bengaluru South Zone — two in Gulakamale (4 acres each), and one each in Somanahalli (1.18 acres) and Thippagondanahalli (5 acres).
  • Yelahanka Zone — Marenahalli (5 acres), N Hosahalli (2 acres), Huttanahalli (2 acres), and Mavallipura (5 acres).
  • Two other public burial grounds have been identified at Giddenahalli in Dasanapura Hobli (4 acres, Bengaluru North), and Giddenahalli in Jigani Hobli (3 acres, Anekal Zone).

Souce: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/35-acres-identified-for-burial-grounds/article31974702.ece