Chula virologist appeals for blood plasma donations to treat Covid-19 patients

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Covid-19 is a new disease caused by a virus, so there is no specific treatment, Dr Yong Poovorawan, an expert virologist at Chulalongkorn University, said while advocating the use of plasma to treat patients.

In a post on his Facebook page on Saturday (April 18), he said that doctors used malaria, HIV, and influenza drugs to treat patients.

“There was a news report that Remdesivir, a new antiviral drug, is able to treat Covid-19 patients effectively, causing stocks indices to rise,” he said.

“However, this drug is currently under research and not registered in many countries’ list of drugs because it is new and must be injected into a vein and it takes 10 days for recovery.”

He said that countries worldwide are using blood plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 to treat other patients, adding that many studies about this issue were reported in academic journals.

“The blood bank is ready to produce blood plasma by following procedures for people’s safety while donating blood plasma,” he said.

“Blood plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 has immunity that is resistant to viruses, so we would like to invite those who have recovered for at least 14 days to donate blood plasma by registering with the National Blood Centre online.”

He added that staff will make an appointment to inspect there is no Covid-19 infection both in the respiratory system and blood, as well as check the immunity level. Then, they will make an appointment to donate blood plasma later.

“Patients that can use plasma have to compare blood groups, while donors must weigh more than 50 kilograms and be aged between 17 and 65,” he added.

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