Convalescent plasma therapy is one of the treatment methods currently used to treat COVID-19 patients, especially those with severe symptoms. This treatment is known to increase the chances of recovery of COVID-19 patients.
Convalescent plasma therapy is the administration of donor blood plasma or donations from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 (COVID-19 survivors) to COVID-19 patients.
In the blood plasma, there are antibodies that appear in response to the body when infected with a virus or bacteria, including the Corona virus. With enough antibodies, viruses or bacteria that cause disease can be eradicated.
Goals of Convalescent Plasma Therapy
The use of convalescent plasma for the treatment of a disease has been carried out for a long time. For COVID-19, various studies so far have proven that convalescent plasma therapy can be used as a treatment, especially in patients who experience severe symptoms.
The benefits that can be obtained from convalescent plasma therapy in COVID-19 patients include:
- Accelerate healing and recovery
- Relieve symptoms experienced, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or fever
- Prevent complications and reduce disease severity
- Reduce the risk of death
Criteria for COVID-19 Patients Recipient of Convalescent Plasma Therapy
Convalescent plasma therapy can indeed be used in COVID-19 patients, but not in every case. This therapy is aimed at COVID-19 patients aged at least 18 years who experience severe symptoms or are in critical condition and are undergoing treatment in a hospital.
In addition, convalescent plasma therapy can also be considered for moderately symptomatic COVID-19 patients who have comorbid diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or a weakened immune system.
COVID-19 patients who are self-isolating with mild or no symptoms do not need this therapy. In addition, convalescent plasma therapy also cannot be performed on healthy people to replace the function of the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine should be delayed for at least 90 days in people who have received convalescent plasma therapy.
Convalescent Plasma Therapy Donor Criteria
Just like recipients, donors of convalescent plasma therapy also have special criteria. COVID-19 survivors who wish to donate blood plasma must meet the following criteria:
- 18–60 years old
- Have a positive history of COVID-19 in the last 3 months
- In good health and has been declared cured of COVID-19 for at least 14 days
- Preferably male or female who have never been pregnant
- Have a minimum weight of 55 kg
- No history of blood transfusion in the last 6 months
- In good health and do not have any blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis or HIV/AIDS
- Have sufficient levels of Corona virus antibodies
- Have a blood type that matches the recipient
If you meet the various requirements above, you are declared eligible to donate your blood. By becoming a convalescent plasma blood donor, you can help save someone’s life.
Convalescent Plasma Therapy Procedure
Prior to convalescent plasma donors, COVID-19 survivors who have met the above criteria need to undergo a screening process, in the form of a blood test and rapid antigen or PCR, as well as other examinations, such as measurement of height, weight, blood pressure, and hemoglobin examination. .
After being declared eligible, the donor will be asked for his consent to donate blood. Then, the doctor or health worker will perform the procedure for collecting convalescent plasma donors using an apheresis machine. This procedure usually takes approximately 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, the stages of administering convalescent plasma to COVID-19 patients are as follows:
Before the procedure
Before performing convalescent plasma therapy, the doctor or nurse will prepare the necessary equipment, such as needles, infusion tubes, and convalescent plasma bags according to the patient’s blood type.
During the procedure
the doctor or nurse will clean and sterilize the skin area of the arm, where the needle will be inserted, with alcohol. After that, the needle is inserted into the vein, then glued with a plaster. The convalescent plasma therapy procedure will last approximately 1−2 hours. This procedure is generally similar to a blood transfusion.
After undergoing convalescent plasma therapy, COVID-19 patients will continue to be monitored by doctors or nurses. It aims to monitor the patient’s condition after receiving convalescent plasma therapy.
During this therapy, the doctor may also give other medicines according to the patient’s needs, for example an antiviral for COVID-19, such as remdesivir or favipirapir.
Those are the conditions and procedures for covalent plasma therapy for COVID-19. Currently, convalescent plasma therapy is an effective treatment to increase the chances of recovery for COVID-19 patients with severe or critical symptoms.
Therefore, for COVID-19 survivors who meet the criteria to become blood plasma donors and wish to donate their blood, please register on the plasmakonvalesen.covid19.go.id website. Every drop of donated plasma will help save a life.
If you still have questions regarding convalescent plasma therapy or about COVID-19 disease, you can chat directly with the doctor on altmedi.top application. Through this application, you can also make a booking for a COVID-19 test and make an appointment for a consultation with a doctor at a hospital.