Covid-19: Center's stiff norms for plasma collection

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The Central Government has issued fresh guidelines for blood transfusion services in the country in the light of Covid-19 pandemic, with a view to ensure safety.

Blood can be collected from a person, who tested positive and recovered from COVID-19, only after 28 days of discharge from a treating facility or 28 days after home isolation ends, the National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) said in a fresh set of guidelines.

The first interim recommendations were issued in March by the council.

The guidelines also state that systems should be in place to enable re-entry of cured Covid-19 patients as donors for convalescent plasma for treatment of those affected by the novel coronavirus.

"The treatment of COVID-19 patients using the convalescent plasma is under clinical trial and currently no evidence of the efficacy of the convalescent plasma as a treatment modality for SARS-COV-2 is established," the NBTC said in the guidelines.

For collection of convalescent plasma under clinical trial from cured COVID-19 patients, the donor selection criteria specifically for this purpose should be as per the protocol approved by Drug Controller General of India and Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

The use of convalescent plasma for routine treatment of COVID-19 patients is not recommended at present, it said.

To maintain safety, the NBTC in its guidelines urged states' blood banks and camp organisers to exclude donors who are in the risk category.

Very mild, mild, pre-symptomatic, moderate and severe COVID-19 cases must be deferred for 28 days from donating blood after discharge from a treating facility or 28 days after the end of home isolation, stated the guidelines issued.

The definition of end of discontinuation of home isolation should be as per the home isolation guidelines issued by the ministry from time to time, they said.


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