Hyderabad: Telangana witnessed its first plasma donation trial on 11 May after a 24-year-old lawyer from Warangal volunteered to donate his plasma at Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad. The lawyer, who is a COVID-19 survivor and was discharged from Gandhi Hospital on 2 April, believes that it was his duty, necessary during the pandemic.

The hospital had been on the look-out for donors after the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) gave the nod to conduct plasma therapy. Akhil Ennamsetty was among those who expressed an interest to donate plasma. “I was aware of convalescent plasma therapy while I was in the UK. I had told the doctor that I will be available for medical research. So, it was only a matter of time. They made all the arrangements and conducted the trial,” said the lawyer.

How long does it take for a person to donate plasma? “Mostly, three hours. In the first one hour, they take your blood samples, which undergo several tests, to ensure that your plasma does not pose any risk to the patient. After all the tests are cleared, the actual plasma donation starts,” said Akhil.

“Your blood actually passes through a processor called the apheresis machine which separates the blood from the plasma, which accounts for around 55 per cent of the blood. While the blood is re-directed back into your body, the processor separates the plasma and collects it in a bag. They collected 500 ml plasma from my blood,” the lawyer explained.

The 24-year-old was one of the two COVID-19 survivors who donated their plasma on Monday at Gandhi Hospital. Five critical COVID-19 patients in the hospital have been identified as recipients for the plasma.

The donors believe that more people need to come forward to be part of this therapy. “Your body has medicine that can treat another person. I think that is motivation enough for people to come forward. We can cure this pandemic only if all of us cooperate,” Akhil said.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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