Health workers take samples for quick COVID-19 tests in the central city of Huế. — VNA/VNS Photo Đỗ Trưởng
HÀ NỘI — The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases has called on recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their plasma, which would be used to treat critically ill patients.
The call was made as Việt Nam’s Health Ministry approved a study on the safety and efficiency of a new method that employs convalescent plasma therapy to treat other patients with illness at medium, serious and critical levels.
The study was conducted by Dr Phạm Ngọc Thạch, director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Prof and Dr Nguyễn Thanh Liêm, head of the private Vinmec Research Institute of Stemcell and Gene Technology and other scientists, doctors from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion.
Plasma donors must meet criteria including aged from 18 to 65, weight of over 50kg for men and 45kg for women, who have recovered from COVID-19, and were discharged from hospital for at least 14 days.
Since August 3, the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases has looked for plasma donors and so far, five people have registered for donation, one of them a health worker, Vietnam News Agency reported on Thursday.
The donors would undergo several tests to see if their plasma is qualified for treatment or not.
Dr Văn Đình Tráng from the hospital’s Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, said that one recovered COVID-19 patient with eligible plasma could help save the life of another patient who was in a medium, serious or very serious health condition.
“The donation is voluntary and donors could stop donating at any time,” he said.
Those who want to register for the donation could contact the hospital at the hotline 19003228 or go to the hospital’s Social Affairs Desk.
On May 15, the Health Ministry issued a decision on the temporary reception, storing and transport of convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.
As there is currently no vaccine against the new strain coronavirus, the use of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is considered a possible treatment for the disease. Việt Nam'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 drawn from recovered patients may help the body of the recipient fight off the SARS-CoV-2. — VNS