BENGALURU: Kunal Garna, a 21-year-old businessman from Bengaluru, has donated plasma twice and saved four precious lives. It was way back in March that Kunal was infected with Covid-19 when he returned from the UK after completing his studies. He was shifted to KC General Hospital, where he was cured and discharged. But in the first few months of the pandemic, the process of plasma donation had not begun and the number of COVID-19 cases too was low in the city.
In June, he got a call from HCG Hospital, asking if he would be willing to donate plasma, and he readily agreed. He donated his plasma on June 15 and also told the hospital authorities that he was willing to donate his plasma more number of times.
Kunal told The New Sunday Express, “Years ago, I had donated platelets, and I’m a regular blood donor. So, I was open to plasma donation too. Initially, my parents were a little scared, but I told them that it could help save lives of critical patients, and they agreed. I have B-positive plasma, and I felt good when I donated it the first time. It is painless and takes just about one hour.
I told HCG doctors that I was open to more plasma donations. The gap between two donations is minimum 15 days.” In July, a senior cardiologist, Dr Natesh B H , from Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, was diagnosed with Covid. Soon, his condition deteriorated and he was admitted to the ICU at a private hospital on Bannerghatta Road. Though he was administered high-flow nasal oxygen and Remdesivir drug, his condition deteriorated further, and that was when plasma therapy was considered. In July-end, Kunal donated his plasma again and it was given to Dr Natesh.
Miraculously, the doctor recovered within three days and was shifted to the ward after spending five days in the ICU. “I had no clue who my plasma was given to. The doctor had a video-conference with me and thanked me profusely which made me feel good that it saved someone’s life. Even in future, I’m open to more donations, and also, more people cured of Covid should come forward and donate plasma. I was told that my plasma has helped save more than four lives,” he added.
Dr Natesh said, “Plasma therapy is important for critical patients. We need more donors to come forward.”
Dr Vishal Rao, who started the plasma bank and got a clearance from the Drug Control General of India for plasma therapy in the state, said, “We have been telling people from the beginning that plasma therapy is important, and it is helping many patients. So far, 45 patients have donated their plasma and we have got 233 volunteers.” He explained that 500 ml of plasma is taken from a donor and 200 ml is given to the recipient. Kunal’s plasma has been given to two patients and he has already enrolled for the third donation.