St. Luke’s Medical Center called for blood donation from patients who recovered from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for plasma therapy.
According to Dr. Francisco Lopez, head of bone marrow transplant in St. Luke’s Medical Center, in addition to those who have survived their hospitalization, those who recovered after self-quarantine in their homes could also donate their plasma.
“We are making an appeal to the public, aside from our own patients na nag-recover… because there are some patients na hindi pa sila na-admit sa hospital,” said Lopez.
“Kung puwede silang tumulong din sa mga pasyente dito sa ospital by donating their own plasma,” he added.
(If they can help patients here at the hospital by donating their plasma.)
Plasma therapy for COVID-19
The plasma in the blood of those who survived COVID-19 could help those who are in critical condition and have not responded with the anti-viral drugs.
Plasma therapy has also been used in other diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and Ebola.
“Kung nagkaroon tayo ng infection ng virus, ang sarili natin katawan ay gumagawa ng antibodies na panlaban sa virus na ‘yon,” Lopez explained.
(If we got infected by the virus, our body makes its antibodies to fight that virus.)
“Itong antibodies na ito, ginagawa ng isang pasyente na nagkaroon ng virus and when they recover, puwede po natin kuhanin ito, ‘yong antibodies nila at ibigay sa ibang pasyenteng malubha ang sakit,” he added.
(These antibodies, made by a patient who has the virus and when they recover, we can take them, their antibodies and give them to other patients with serious illness.)
In South Korea, the recovery of two elderly coronavirus patients from severe pneumonia was reported when they received plasma from a COVID-19 survivor.
The blood will undergo screening and should not be positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), syphilis, or malaria.
For plasma donors, you need to avoid high-fat foods, and you should drink plenty of water. A COVID-19 survivor can donate plasma again after 14 days.
Aside from St. Luke’s, the Philippine General Hospital is also calling for blood donation from COVID-19 patients for plasma therapy.
As of today, the Philippines has recorded 4,932 cases, 315 deaths, and 242 recoveries.