Blood donation Current Affairs - 2020

FDA approves Convalescent Plasma Treatment for seriously ill COVID-19 patients

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has approved the use of Convalescent plasma collected from patients recovered from COVID-19 to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The idea of the method is to inject plasma with antibodies into critically ill patients for them to gain immunity against the virus.

Highlights

The Convalescent plasma treatment had earlier been studied during the outbreaks of 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, 2009-10 H1N1 influenza virus and 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic.

The treatment is mere collection of plasma from a COVID-19 recovered patient and inject them into a critically ill patient of COVID-19

What is Plasma?

Plasma is the major part of the blood. Apart from RBC, WBC and platelets in the blood, all the other fluid content is referred as Plasma. It makes up more than 55% of blood in human body. When separated from blood, it becomes light yellow liquid. This is because, blood is red in color due to the RBCs.

The main role of plasma is to carry hormones, nutrients and proteins to different parts of the body.

June 14: World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor Day observed every year across the world on June 14 to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. It also seeks to raise awareness of need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.

The theme for this year is ‘Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life’. The host is Greece. The theme highlights importance blood donation as action of solidarity. It also highlights fundamental human values of respect, empathy and kindness associated with unpaid blood donation systems.

Importance of blood donation

Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer and with higher quality of life. It also supports complex medical and surgical procedures. The blood transfusion also plays essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.

Background

The World Blood Donors Day was instituted by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2004 to raise awareness of need for safe bold and blood products and to thank donors. It is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by WHO along with World Tuberculosis Day (24 March), World Health Day (7 April), World Malaria Day (25 April), World Immunization Week (last week of April), World No Tobacco Day (31 May), World Hepatitis Day (28 July) and World AIDS Day (1 December).