DOH-7 releases convalescent plasma to COVID-19 patients | Inquirer News
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DOH-7 releases convalescent plasma to COVID-19 patients

By: - Senior Reporter / @inquirervisayas
/ 03:53 PM October 07, 2020

CEBU CITY –– The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has released 74 units of convalescent plasma to save the lives of critically ill coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

Among those who will benefit from the program are patients from Central Visayas, Manila, Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, and the Caraga Administrative Region.

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DOH-7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said convalescent plasma could help boost the immune system of a critically ill or severely impaired COVID-19 patient.

She stressed, however, that there was no proof yet it could cure the disease.

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Plasma is the clear liquid part of blood that carries cells and proteins throughout the body.

“We have yet to finish with our followup on the status of the patients given convalescent plasma,” she said.

Convalescent plasma from COVID-19 survivors has become a “hot” commodity because it is being used as an experimental treatment for the dreaded disease that has no known cure at present.

The convalescent plasma contains antibodies that can neutralize the virus and may be transfused to severely ill COVID-19 patients to improve their condition.

Loreche said they have collected 510 units of convalescent plasma. However, only 340 units could be used after further tests.

Among the regular donors are members of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines who have recovered from the disease.

Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, director of the Central Visayas police, encouraged around 500 policemen who recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma.

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“I’m promoting the donation of plasma so that we will tell people that the gift of life is a gift from God. It is not for sale. We should give back all to His glory,” Ferro said.

Loreche reminded hospitals not to process convalescent plasma from patients who recovered from the COVID-19.

“If we found out that they are doing this, their license may be revoked,” she said.

Loreche said only the DOH has the authority to process or grant authority to process plasma from donors who offer these for free.

“We discourage the sale of plasma and we condemn it. Blood plasma is supposed to be given voluntarily to those who need it and should not be sold. If we allow that and we purchase blood for our patients, what will happen to those who are in need and cannot afford it?” she said.

“The plasma shall be made available to everyone—rich or poor,” she added.

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TAGS: Central Visayas, convalescent plasma, Coronavirus, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Department of Health, DOH-7, Philippine news updates, Regions
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