HYDERABAD: Telangana’s first dedicated Covid plasma bank had its first customer on Saturday when a Covid-recovered citizen donated plasma at ESIC Medical College. Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, who was instrumental in pushing for the facility, visited the plasma bank and took stock of the arrangements.
The facility has received approval from the ICMR to be part of the plasma trials and will take donations from recovered patients to meet the needs of the hospital’s Covid wards.
It will supply plasma to the Gandhi Hospital as well. “The ESIC Hospital’s Covid Plasma Bank will be a central nodal centre and cater to the needs of Telangana. The need of the hour is to streamline the data of the potential donors for effective coordination. An online portal will be created to reflect availability and flow of plasma to different hospitals, and maintain transparency,” said Soundararajan at ESIC Hospital.
Speaking about the arrangements, Dr Madhuri Taranikanti, Registrar of the ESIC Medical College, said, “With the latest equipment and permissions from ICMR, we have started the blood bank and it will be open to all donors.” ESIC is yet to get administrative permissions to send donated plasma to private hospitals.The Governor interacted with the donor during her visit and lauded him for his humanitarian efforts. Four more people have been shorlisted for donation.
She stressed the need for Covid-recovered citizens to come forward and consider it a social responsibility. “Everyone who has been cured cannot donate plasma. Only those who have adequate antibodies to fight Covid-19 are eligible to donate the plasma. Of the 60 people who came forward, only four were found eligible here,” she said.
Meanwhile, the bank has collected a database of Covid-recovered patients from GHMC and has begun calling them for donations. “We have made about 200 calls, however, very few responded. They fear that if they donate plasma, they would lose the antibodies, which is incorrect. People need to come forward to ensure that no life is lost for want of plasma,” said Dr Ch Srinivasa Rao, Assistant Professor, Department of Transfusion Medicine. While Gandhi Hospital has been taking donations, it is not a dedicated bank. As it is a Covid designated hospital, there is a stigma attached to it and people are scared to visit the place for donating plasma.