Aug 09, 2020 / 10:15

Vietnam: Fifteen Covid-19 convalescents volunteer to donate plasma

The Hanoitimes - Of the fifteen volunteers, two are health workers and two foreigners.

Fifteen people in Vietnam have registered to donate their plasma after the Hanoi-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases made a call for plasma donation which would be used to treat critically ill patients, Zing.vn reported.

 Equipment system for plasma testing and screening. Photo: Quoc Toan

Of the fifteen, two are health workers and two foreigners. Other two have completed the process of plasma donation.

The call was made as Vietnam’s Health Ministry approved a clinical trial on “Assessing the safety and initial efficacy of treating moderate and severely ill Covid-19 patients with convalescent plasma from Covid-19 recoveries."

The research is co-chaired by Dr. Pham Ngoc Thach, director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, director of the Vinmec Research Institute of Stem Cell and Gene Technology, with participation of other leading scientists and medical experts.

As there are currently no vaccines against the new strain coronavirus, the use of plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients is considered a feasible treatment for the disease.

Vietnam's decision to explore this path in dealing with the disease was prompted by international studies and reports which suggest that blood plasma containing Covid-19 antibodies extracted from recovered patients may help the body of the recipient fight SARS-CoV-2.

 Dr. Van Dinh Trang, head of the Department of Microbiology - Molecular Biology under the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases

According to Dr. Van Dinh Trang, head of the Department of Microbiology - Molecular Biology under the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, the main coordinator of the study, those eligible for plasma donation are from 18 to 65 years old, weighing more than 50 kg for men and 45 kg for women. They are Covid-19 convalescents and in their post hospital discharge stage of at least 14 days.

The donors would undergo several tests to see if their plasma is qualified for treatment or not, including free hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis screening, Dr. Trang said.

He added that recipients of donated plasma will include those confirmed Covid-19 positive via RT-PCR testing, aged 18 to 75 years old.

"There is no vaccine or current treatment for Covid-19. Experimental drugs like antiviral, ARV, and anti-helminthic drugs have not proven to be effective. Therefore, the use of plasma is expected to save the critically ill from death," Dr. Trang said.

Those wanting to donate their plasma are able to voluntarily register with the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi via the hotline 19003228 for advice.

The donation is completely voluntary and the donors could stop donating at any time.