plasma covid
Sonja Krauthoefer of the University Hospital Erlangen checks donated blood and plasma samples Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on Wednesday announced the launch of three clinics to collect convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, revealing that one patient can donate three dosages, which can save two to three lives.

Dr Younis Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Healthcare Corporation at DHAm said the therapy can speed up the recovery of patients by 85 to 90 per cent.

He added that DHA established these clinics to collect the largest number of donations to treat coronavirus patients.

Dr Kazim said once a person recovers from the virus, they develop antibodies that will stay in their blood to fight the same virus. The plasma of patients who have completely recovered from COVID-19 is rich in antibodies that can fight off the virus when it is transfused into the COVID-19 patient, as these antibodies will boost the immune system of the patient.

Few exclusions

“The blood plasma is collected from a recovered COVID -19 patient, who has passed 14 days since recovery and had two consecutive negative results for coronavirus by PCR. A final test will be conducted after he completes this period before the patient can donate blood plasma. Those with chronic disease and patients who suffered from severe symptoms when they had the virus will be excluded from donation,” said Dr Younis.

Meanwhile, Dr Mai Raouf, Director, Dubai Blood Donation Centre, said 600ml of plasma is collected from each patient who has developed antibodies. It is then divided into three therapeutic dosages; each is 200ml. These plasmas will then be used to help medium to severe cases in recovering from the COVID-19.

She added that the convalescent plasma therapy is being performed based on two protocols approved by the DHA’s ethical and scientific committee, each is used depending on the patient’s case.

New hope

The authority hopes that the number of convalescent plasma donations by recovered patients will increase after the establishment of these clinics in order to help treat as much patients suffering from medium to severe symptoms of COVID-19 as possible.

This move comes after health government entities in the country announced last month that it will be using convalescent plasma therapy after international medical results have found that they were effective.

Dr Kazim said DHA will also be introducing stem cell therapy to its treatment protocols in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Centre after receiving the needed approvals, completing the trial period successfully and the laws and precautionary guidelines needed are introduced.