The Tamil Nadu government will be setting up the country's second plasma bank at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) in Chennai following the successful trials of plasma therapy in the state. The plasma bank will be set up at a cost of Rs 2 crore.
In a press release, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabaskar said, “As there is no drug ascertained yet for COVID-19, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami gave a nod for testing plasma therapy. Based on the nod, the state government sought the approval of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). The ICMR and CDSCO gave the approval for testing convalescent plasma therapy for patients with moderate coronavirus symptoms.”
So far the plasma therapy was provided to 20 patients, of which 18 patients were discharged from RGGGH following recovery.
Around 500 ml of blood samples from a COVID-19 recovered person will be taken and given to patients who are moderately symptomatic for coronavirus.
The Health Minister said, plasma donors should be in the age group of 18 to 65 and should have recovered from coronavirus. The patients should have tested negative on the 14th day of the coronavirus test to be qualified to donate plasma. People with diabetes, heart problems, cancer and people recovering from surgeries cannot donate plasma.
The plasma donors can again donate plasma within 28 days. However, an individual can donate plasma only twice, he said.
Vijayabaskar said, if steroid and other medicines are not sufficient to cure the person and if their oxygen requirement increases, then plasma therapy could be provided to those patients. "For two days, 200 ml of plasma would be given to the patient. If a patient is administered with plasma in this way, the plasma stabilises and reduces coronavirus in the body of the patient, thereby reducing the requirement for oxygen," he said.
The plasma bank will be set up at a cost of Rs 2 crore. This is the second plasma bank in the country after Delhi, he said.
One person from Rajaji Government Medical College Hospital, Madurai has recovered from plasma therapy. The trial will be undertaken at Tirunelveli Government Medical College Hospital, he added.