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Plasma Therapy For COVID-19: Know Who Can And Cannot Donate Plasma

Plasma therapy: If you are survivor of coronavirus and have had no symptoms from the infection for at least two weeks, you are eligibile for donating plasma for others infected with the virus.

Plasma Therapy For COVID-19: Know Who Can And Cannot Donate Plasma

Plasma therapy can be helpful for those are critically ill with coronavirus


  1. People above the age of 60 cannot be eligible for donating plasma
  2. A person's weight should be above 50 kg to donate plasma
  3. Haemoglobin levels must be above 8

The first plasma bank was recently inaugurated in Delhi. Survivors of COVID-19 are requested to come forward and donate plasma to help others infected with coronavirus. The convalescent plasma therapy aims at using antibodies from the blood of a recovered COVID-19 patient, to treat those who are critically ill after being infected with the virus. The concept of the therapy is based on the premise that the blood of a patient who has recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies with the specific ability of fighting this novel coronavirus.

The recovered patient's antibodies can be injected to someone under treatment. They will then begin targeting and fighting the novel coronavirus in the second patient. However, there are a few do's and don'ts as to who can donate plasma and who must not.

Also read: Coronavirus Prevention: Is It Important To Wear Gloves To The Grocery Store?

We speak to Dr P. Raghu Ram, President of The Association of Surgeons of India, who explains about the eligibility criteria for donating plasma. "A person who has fully recovered from COVID-19, which means that there is complete resolution of symptoms from the infection for at least two weeks, can donate plasma," he tells DoctorNDTV.

He gives the following indications convalescent Plasma therapy, that is people who can donate plasma

  • Prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test.
  • An individual must be fit and healthy, aged 18 years and above.
  • Should be over 50 kgs in weight and must have Hb levels over 8.
  • Nulliparous women (who have not borne children).

A person who has successfully recovered from COVID-19 and experiences no symptoms for two weeks can donate plasma
Photo Credit: iStock

Explaining why women who have been pregnant cannot donate plasma, Dr Ram says, "Women who have been pregnant are very likely to have certain antibodies which could potentially result in a fatal transfusion reaction, called, transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI) in the plasma recipient."

A pregnant woman develops antibodies to human leucocyte antigen (HLA). This HLA antibody can potentially cause TRALI. "As patients infected with COVID-19 have an already established compromised lung condition, plasma with HLA antibodies could significantly increase the possibility of further lung damage," he adds.

Also read: Coronavirus: Expert-Recommended Guidelines For Pregnant Women And Nursing Mothers

Apart from women who have been pregnant, here's a list of people who cannot donate plasma

  • Those over 60 years of age.
  • People who are less than 50 kgs in weight.
  • People whose Haemoglobin levels below 8.
  • Individuals who are found to be positive HIV, hepatitis B, C, E, and HTLV-1 (human T cell leukaemia virus 1) and syphilis.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or diabetics on insulin, or diabetics with change of medication in the last 28 days
  • Uncontrolled hypertension or hypertension with systolic blood pressure over 140 or diastolic blood pressure above 90 or hypertension with change of medication in the last 28 days.
  • Those with chronic kidney, heart, lung, or liver disease.
  • Anyone who has been diagnosed and treated for cancer (cancer survivors).

Also read: Coronavirus Prevention: 6 Essential Qualities That Are Important For An Effective Face Mask

(Dr P. Raghu Ram, President of The Association of Surgeons of India)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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