New Delhi [India], June 29 (ANI): In order to maintain a safe and adequate blood supply during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Health Ministry has issued revised guidance for blood transfusion services in India.
The Health Ministry has updated the second interim--national guidance for blood transfusion services-- taking inputs from the World Health Organisation (WHO) interim guidance and newer evidence generated for COVID-19.
Dr Sunil Gupta, additional director general, Blood Transfusion Services at NACO has requested all the State AIDS Control Societies and State Blood Transfusion Councils to adopt the guidelines to their specific needs. Dr Gupta has directed the professionals engaged in blood transfusion services to facilitate the maintenance of adequate stocks of safe blood to meet requirements.
While revising the existing national guidance for blood transfusion service, the National Blood Transfusion Councils (NTBC) has updated the exclusion criteria for donors to maintain blood safety, infection control measures etc. Use of facemask by healthcare providers in blood centre, blood mobile van or an outdoor blood donation camp shall be mandatory to prevent transmission of the virus.
The latest guidance of safe blood transfusion service is in the suppression of the first guidance issued by NBTC on March 25.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Gupta said: "We have reworked upon several factors. It includes--(i) criteria for post-donation care, (ii) recommendation on testing of blood and blood components for COVID-19 pathogen reduction technologies etc, (iii) managing the supply chain system for commodities required in blood transfusion services, (iv) collection of convalescent plasma, (v) managing the supply chain system for commodities required in the blood transfusion service."
"In case for the collection of convalescent plasma--a system should be in place to enable re-entry of cured COVID-19 patients as donors for convalescent plasma for treatment of COVID-19 patients. However, the treatment of COVID-19 patients using convalescent plasma is under clinical trial and currently, no evidence of the efficacy of the convalescent plasma as a treatment modality for COVID-19 is established," he said.
"For the collection of convalescent plasma and the clinical trials from cured COVID-19 patients, the donor selection criteria specifically for this purpose should be as per the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). The use of convalescent plasma for routine COVID-19 treatment of COVID-19 patient is not recommended at present," read the guidance.
The necessary guidelines for collection of convalescent plasma the recovered COVID-19 patients for the treatment of such cases will be issued as when the efficacy of this form of treatment is established and approved by the competent bodies, stated the government document. (ANI)