Guwahati: Assam government successfully started its first plasma bank at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Friday, with the first donor being a COVID-19 cured doctor of the hospital itself.
The launch of the plasma bank comes earlier than the estimated starting date of next week, as earlier announced by state health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma. This bank is the second in the country after New Delhi, and first in Northeast India.
What is plasma therapy?
Plasma therapy involves transfusion of plasma from a convalescent coronavirus patient to a critical active COVID-19 patient. The blood of a convalescent patient is rich in antibodies and are expected to help the critical patient in recovering.
Guwahati’s first plasma donor
The first donor of plasma was Dr Lithikesh, a post graduate student from Karnataka who had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 and was subsequently cured.
While appealing cured COVID-19 patients to come forward and donate plasma, Sarma tweeted, “Glad to share that we’ve started a #PlasmaBank at GMCH. The first convalescent donor is a doctor himself, a #COVID19 patient. My gratitude to Dr Lithikesh for donating his plasma, and to the team who is working on this bank.
I encourage cured patients to come forward & donate.”
Assam has been witnessing continous rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, especially in Guwahati city, which is currently under a stringent 14-day lockdown. So far, the state has reported 9,434 cases of which 3,311 are active, 6,106 discharged, 14 dead and 3 migrated to other states.