ROURKELA: At a time when Rourkela is facing a deadly second wave of Covid-19, a group of volunteers of the local unit of Round Table India have taken up the job of connecting eligible plasma donors with recipients since the last fortnight. Helping them in the noble cause is the Rourkela administration.
Around 30 volunteers of Round Table India - 15 women of Ladies Circle and as many men - with the help of the administration, have collected a list of 450 Covid-19 survivors in Rourkela. Every day, they are counselling the survivors to donate plasma to save lives of critical Covid patients and facilitating the process. Ankita Agarwal (38) is one among them who spends at least 90 minutes every day speaking to survivors and encouraging them to donate plasma after recovering.
“We are telling people that if they have developed antibodies against coronavirus, they have the power to save lives of other affected patients from this deadly disease”, she said. Another volunteer Mohit Prasad said after screening the survivors who are willing to donate, hardly 25 per cent are found eligible to donate their plasma. The Apollo Clinic at Rourkela has spared a technician who collects blood samples from the potential donors from their doorsteps for suitability testing at the plasma bank of the RSP-run Ispat General Hospital (IGH).
Mohit said once the test report is clear they fix a date with the plasma bank and arrange to bring the potential donors to the IGH and make sure that the donors do not face any inconvenience as it may discourage others. He informed that so far 18 units of plasma have been collected and after the process is streamlined, six to seven units can be collected every day.
The volunteers said against the devastating second wave, their contribution for the cause is insignificant.
ADM and Incident Commander for Covid-19 Aboli Sunil Naravane said during the first wave in 2020, Rourkela had collected the highest of 513 units of plasma at IGH and Covid survivors included those from Jharsuguda, Deogarh and Sambalpur districts.
In the second wave so far, 18 units of plasma have been collected and efforts are on to collect more with voluntary donation by people. She hoped that sufficient amounts of plasma will be collected shortly to save lives at this critical juncture.
Authorised Medical Officer for Covid-19 Dr Shashank Kabi Satpathy said convalescent plasma therapy is helpful given at the right time before a patient reaches a critical stage. “With plasma therapy, immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using convalescent plasma”, he said. Under the therapy, antibodies from the blood of a recovered Covid patient is used to treat a critical patient.