Muscat: The Ministry of Health’s Department of Blood Banks Services at the Directorate General of Specialized Medical Care renewed its appeal to those recovering from COVID-19 to donate immune plasma after it was proven to be effective as a supportive treatment for some cases, in addition to increasing demand for the blood plasma due to the increase in the number of patients in hospitals.
Dr Zainab Salim Al Fana al Oraimi, Director of Blood Banks Services Department explained in an interview that many recoveries responded to this call and took the initiative to donate plasma at the department’s headquarters in Bausher.
Plasma donation appointments have also been scheduled with a number of recoveries so that the Department can provide it to health institutions continuously, where this treatment is provided to patients in referral hospitals based on the evaluation of the attending physician.
The Director of Blood Banks Services confirmed that cooperation has been carried out with many health centres of primary health care and various blood banks in referral hospitals to contribute to the success of this national project, through COVID-19 re-examination to ensure that the result is negative before the scheduling donation appointment.
The plasma donation is performed at the Central Blood Bank in Bausher, where plasma is collected through a special device to separate it and then divide it into two to three units.
Dr Zainab highlighted that in an effort to deploy the latest technologies in this field, the technique of microbial inhibition for plasma has been introduced, in addition to introducing the COVID-19 antibody measurement test in order to be used in examination of antibodies level of the donor blood, which will help to know the level of antibodies of each donor.
She added that studies indicate that the level of antibodies against the virus in the recoveries varies from one donor to another. There are several reasons for this difference as recoveries of patients with severe symptoms were found to have a higher level of antibodies than those recovered patients with mild symptoms.
Dr Al Oraimi explained that it was noted that the plasma therapy responsiveness also varied from one patient to another, which may be due to the level of plasma antibodies of the donor.
Given the increasing demand for blood plasma as a result of the increase in Coronavirus cases, the Department appeals to all those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma to help patients in need for immune plasma by communicating through WhatsApp at 94555648 or 24591255. –ONA