You may have been hearing about “blood plasma therapy” very often these days. Convalescent plasma therapy showing promise in the treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19 treatment. Yet no vaccine or specific treatment for the virus, researchers are exploring various approaches – such as convalescent plasma therapy – to fight respiratory illness. Plasma therapy has shown to be beneficial in some coronavirus patients. Firstly, doctors transfuse convalescent plasma from someone who has fully recovered from COVID-19 into patients who are seriously ill with the virus.
What Is Plasma?
Plasma is usually that part of the blood, which is often forgotten. Plasma is the fluid that carries all the blood components throughout the body.
Plasma takes up around 55% of the overall composition of the blood. Once the Plasma gets separated from the blood, it is found to be yellow, and it carries salts, enzymes, and water.
Plasma’s primary function is to carry all the hormones, nutrients, and proteins to the other parts of the body that need it. The cells present in our human body also put their waste products in the Plasma, which is why the Plasma helps in removing the waste from the body and simultaneously carries the blood from the circulation system.
How can Plasma keep you healthy?
Since Plasma carries all the crucial components, it is a very critical part of the treatments of severe health issues. Alongside the salt enzymes water and hormones, the Plasma contains all other various essential components like the clotting factors, antibodies, and proteins like Fibrinogens and Albumins.
Whenever someone donates blood, the healthcare providers will separate all the vital parts from the Plasma so that they can be further used for various purposes, such as saving the lives of people who have gone through severe health problems like medical emergencies and trauma shock burns, etc.
What is Plasma Therapy?
Currently, plasma therapies are being used for treating coronavirus; the treatment is known as convalescent plasma treatment will employ the antibodies which have been developed within the infected person.
Your blood is about 45% red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The rest is plasma, a yellow-clear liquid containing water, clotting factors, CO2, hormones, mineral ions, glucose, and dissolved proteins. Some of those proteins are antibodies.
Those who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies to SARS-COV-2 swirling through their blood’s plasma.
These antibodies are starting to build up in the part of the patient’s body as their immune response to the foreign virus (in this case 0, in general, it is the pathogen. These antibodies are highly specific in regards to the invading pathogen. Plasma will work on eliminating the coronavirus or the other pathogen, which is harming the body.
Once the patient gets recovered, they further donate the blood so that these antibodies can help the other patients suffering from the same problem. But after the patient donates the blood, it gets checked if there is a presence of the disease-causing agents like HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, etc.
If the reports come out negative, the Plasma is extracted from the blood. Once the Plasma is obtained, it is ingested into the patient’s body who is undergoing the treatment
Risks associated with Plasma Therapy
- Transferring of the blood substance. During the transfusion of the blood, there are risks involved, like an inadvertent infection getting passed on to the patient.
- Enhancement of the infection: In some cases, the therapy might fail and can end up enhancing the virus.
- Affecting the immune system: The antibodies can end up suppressing the natural immune system of the body, leaving the patient vulnerable to any sort of subsequent re-infection
If you have fully recovered from a confirmed case of coronavirus, you might qualify as a plasma donor, and you can donate at the nearest plasma center. Daughter of the renowned Bollywood producer Karim Morani, Zoa Morani, was diagnosed with coronavirus in April. After fighting the virus, she proceeded to a plasma donation to help the COVID-positive patients in any manner that she could.