Establishing Plasma Banks in Jammu & Kashmir

Pending finding out a vaccine or any established cure for corona-virus disease, various options of treatment are universally tried. India, as a leading country in such an exercise, is also pooling its best resources in finding out a lasting and confirmed treatment of the infection caused by the virus so that precious human lives could be saved from being consumed wantonly by this virus. Hydroxychloroquine tablets manufactured by Indian Companies have been in great demand internationally in mitigating, if not curing, the complicacies due to corona-virus and even have shown unexpected results. However, it has fallen short of fully treating such patients hence the quest for better options. One of such options, which we could at best call as an ”ad-hoc or patch work” arrangement but with comparative encouraging if not better results, is treatment through plasma therapy. Plasma Bank, in common parlance is just like a Blood Bank but meant exclusively for patients suffering from COVID 19 infection. If doctors, again on hit and trial basis, find the patient could respond to the therapy treatment of a plasma from a patient who had recovered from covid virus infection, then the therapy is used. So, just like a Blood Bank is set up through the blood donated by the willing donors, in the same way a recovered patient from corona-virus disease could donate one’s plasma.
Plasma therapy is related to a recovered patient which is extracted from its body and administered to a patient. Depending upon various factors, the antibodies can help patients recover. Comparative results of success achieved by employing this therapy has led to the options of opening such Plasma Banks across the country. In national capital, New Delhi, India’s first Plasma Bank has been opened and Maharashtra, the worst hit state with the COVID 19 infection cases, has started plasma therapy trials .It is heartening to note that now Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to establish two plasma banks , one each in Srinagar and Jammu exclusively for Covid patients of Srinagar valley and Jammu region respectively. This, undoubtedly, is an innovative step and deserves all commendation. Since plasma therapy is directly related to those patients who have recovered from the dreaded disease of corona-virus and can be beneficial only within 14 days after their having recovered, their data is needed to be maintained and updated on day to day basis. In this connection, therefore the three top medical institutions, GMC, Srinagar, GMC Jammu and SKIMS Srinagar are required to undertake this exercise including ascertaining individual willingness to donate their blood plasma.
It is worth noting that each plasma donation is reported to be sufficient to cure two patients suffering from this disease and the donated plasma can be stored for a year safely as the frozen plasma is said to retain the needed antibodies. However, it is not that easy as it is made out to be since a donor is required to undergo extensive checks and comply with the eligibility conditions too which otherwise are required for effective use. However, this therapy shows promises to reduce deaths on account of the coronavirus disease and therefore needs to be made best possible use of in our country, now considered third worst affected country in the world due to the said pandemic.