The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on April 23 called on more recovered patients to donate their blood plasma for an experimental treatment for COVID-19.
According to PGH spokesperson and doctor Jonas Del Rosario, a total of 19 recovered patients came forward to donate their plasma for Convalescent Plasma Therapy against COVID-19. The process involves procuring anti-bodies from the blood plasma of recovered patients and infusing COVID-19 patients to build resistance. Of 9 patients who received the plasma, 6 are either stable or recovering from the coronavirus disease. Included in the list of donors is Senator Migs Zubiri, who came forward on April 21 to donate his blood plasma.
He acknowledged the stigma recovered COVID-19 patients face. Previously, they were hesitant to come forward out of fear of discrimination or judgment, but now they have the “opportunity to rise above the stigma of the disease and be a hero by giving the plasma and hopefully, be able to extend the life of someone who’s battling the disease,” he said.
As of April 23, at least 722 recoveries have been recorded in the Philippines, which means there are more donors that could help inflicted patients battle the virus.
Del Rosario said that donors must meet certain requirements before they can donate blood plasma. PGH requires at least 2 weeks of full recovery from donors, as shown by a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. They also have to weigh at least 50 kilograms and preferably below 60 years of age. Those with pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes cannot donate.
While the Convalescent Plasma Therapy is not a cure for COVID-19, “Some of [these patients] are really using this plasma therapy as a treatment of last resort,” Del Rosario said.
Recovered patients who want to donate can call the PGH Hotline at 155-200.
Main image from Pixabay / PublicDomainPictures.