Two friends from college who happen to be brothers in the nursing department of Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata donated their plasma today and made a contribution to the fight against Covid-19.
Amit Sarkar, 26, and Ratnadeep Bhowmik, 27, are both from Tripura but they had become friends while they were in Bangalore studying for a diploma in nursing. The friendship grew. They joined Apollo Gleneagles together in 2015 and, as luck would have it, contracted Covod-19 together in April 2020.
Corona, however, gave them little trouble beyond sore throat and they have joined back on duty since. Taking an interest in the disease, however, they learnt about Plasma Therapy and volunteered to donate their plasma, which now contained antibodies against Covid-19 pathogen.
The wish expressed to their supervisor quickly became reality as Apollo Gleneagles is part of the Plasma Trial of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“We were lucky that we did not have severe symptoms but we would like to help others who become critically ill because of the disease,” said Amit.
Ratnadeep explained that plasma collection itself was a simple process just like blood donation and took around one hour, during which time about 500ml of plasma was collected, and by a process called apheresis, the blood with all other components but the plasma was reinserted into his vein by the same needle.
The two became the fourth and fifth employees of the hospital to donate plasma during the ongoing pandemic.
According to Dr. Sudipto Sekhar Das, senior consultant and head of the department transfusion medicine, the results of plasma therapy or Covid Convalescent Plasma (CCP) Therapy to treat critical Covid patients at Apollo Gleneagles have so far been impressive.
“We have got very good results in the two cases where we used plasma therapy so far. In one case, a 27-year-old patient came out of ventilation after 72 hours of the therapy and was discharged the week after. Later, a 62-year-old man who was diabetic and hypertensive as well came out of ventilation in four days and we could send him home in the next seven days,” said Dr. Das.
“When the plasma is transfused to the recipient, the anti-Covid antibodies play a crucial role in virus clearance and are essential in protecting against the disease and restraining in the infection,” he added.