Two physicians first to donate plasma for COVID-19 treatment

Two physicians who had recovered from coronavirus donated their plasma in Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s blood transfusion department on Saturday.

DMCH has begun collecting plasma for experimental clinical trial of Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) to treat critically ill coronavirus patients.

Professor MA Khan, a hematologist at DMCH and head of the technical committee formed by the government regarding plasma transfusion, urged the patients had recovered from coronavirus to donate their plasma for critically ill patients.

A total of 45 critically ill coronavirus patients would be given plasma in the first phase, he added.

“Two physicians Dildar Hossain and Rawnak Jamil have responded to our call. We have collected their plasma. A total of three people came to donate today, but we couldn’t collect plasma of another person,” MA Khan told Prothom Alo.

DMCH starts collecting plasma from COVID-19 survivors

M A Khan, head of haematology at DMCH

The government on 18 April formed the four-member technical committee to prepare a study protocol of plasma therapy. They submitted the protocol to Bangladesh Medical Research Center (BMRC).

Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital’s physician Dildar Hossain tested coronavirus positive on 25 April and recovered on 9 May.

Urging coronavirus survivors to donate plasma to save critical patients’ life, Dildar said, “Donating plasma is much easier than donating blood. It has no side effects.”

Midford Hospital’s anesthesiologist Rawnak Jamil recovered on 5 May.

“There is a misconception among the people about donating plasma but there is nothing to worry about. Those who recovered from the coronavirus should donate plasma to save lives of the critical patients,” Rawnak said.

Former vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and virologist professor Nazrul Islam said the patients who recovered form coronavirus develop antibody which works as antidote for the infected patients.

Why US hospitals see promise in plasma treatment

A healthcare worker wearing a protective mask is seen outside at Mount Sinai Hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, US, 4 April 2020.

UNB adds, India, the UK, the USA, Italy, China and some other countries started CPT for COVID-19 patients to reduce fatalities from the disease.

Earlier on 12 April, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) called for applications to study the safety and efficacy of CPT in managing complications associated with COVID-19.

On 25 April, the UK government approved the clinical trial of CPT to help its National Health Service (NHS) for treating COVID-19 patients.

World physicians used CPT effectively before the specific treatment was

developed for H1N1 influenza (Spanish virus), Ebola, SARS-1 and MERS virus.