By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 19, 2020: Plasma therapy appears to have brought positive outcome on Covid-19 patients in Odisha. The death toll in the state has gone up to 91 with five more casualties on Sunday and is likely to increase in the coming days, experts said.

The information and public relations department tweeted, “Plasma therapy has brought a great relief to the serious Covid-19 patients in the state. Of the six critical patients under plasma therapy, four are responding very well. The other two are in a stable condition and are expected to recover soon.”

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik lauded the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha fire services personnel for coming forward to donate plasma for the treatment of serious patients. “This gesture will inspire other COVID-19 atients to donate blood after recovery and help save precious lives,” Naveen tweeted.

Plasma is a straw coloured fluid blood component, the plasma transports antibodies, nutrients and hormones to parts of the body that need it. The plasma of a recovered COVID patient is transfused into another patient to build a strong response against the virus.

Of the eight units of plasma collected from four patients, who were cured of the life-threatening virus, six were used. Of the six patients, four are undergoing treatment at SUM Covid Hospital in Bhubaneswar and two are at Ashwini Covid Hospital in Cuttack.

There is an urgency to have as much plasma to cure COVID-19 patients, doctors said appealing the people, who have been cured of the deadly virus to donate their plasma and some people have shown interest in doing so. This apart, as many as 80 NDRF and fire services personnel, who contracted the disease during the post-Amphan duty in West Bengal, are eligible for donating their plasma.

A COVID-19 patient will be eligible for plasma donation after 28 days of testing negative. The donor must be 18 to 60 years of age and not weigh less than 55kg. The donor should also not have comorbidities like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac problem,” an official said.

The SCB Medical College and Hospital has been recognized as the nodal center for a plasma bank where at least 1,000 units of plasma can be stored.

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