By Burcu Calik Gocumlu
ANKARA (AA) - Head of Turkish Red Crescent on Tuesday announced that patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus can help heal others 14 days after their recovery.
Kerem Kinik stated that donors can help six COVID-19 immune patients by donating plasma three times in a week, he noted that one unit was 400 milliliters.
The first volunteer for donating the plasma is Doctor Kursat Demir who recovered from the virus, his plasma will be tested in labs and then will be donated to the first patient who is in a critical situation.
Kinik said that when the body meets the coronavirus, it starts to form antibodies against it to overcome the disease, and that 98% of the diseases are defeated with these antibodies in individuals who's immunity works well.
According to the guidelines published by the Ministry of Health and American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 14 days after the recovery the plasma can be removed from the patient, however Kinik noted that the antibodies in the plasma remained at a high level for three weeks and then tended to decrease.
Kinik said the Ministry of Health shared the informations of the 400 patients who have recovered from the virus and that is ready to make donations.
In addition, patients will be able to make this donation in hospitals that have a plasmapheresis capacity.
Donations will be taken from those who are capable of donating blood, are healthy, have a healthy body weight, have no diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.
He noted that the plasma donation has started in ten of the cities of Turkey where most cases and recoveries were seen.
Kinik said that the number of patients who recovered are less right now but he emphasized that it will increase geometrically as of next week.
"As the number of tests increase we will be able to detect patients who have recovered from the virus without showing any symptoms.
"This way we will have the data of patients who have been treated both in the hospital and unnoticed in the coming weeks," he said.
Kinik emphasized that as of Tuesday Kizilay is capable of receiving plasma donations from 750 donors a day.
He emphasized that immune plasma therapy accelerates the recovery of patients in severe condition especially in intensive care units and reduces the risks of death.
The Ministry of Health will make a waiting list according to the urgency and indication of the patients.
Kinik said that this procedure will be free of charge where the state will be financing it.
Turkey has so far reported 34,109 COVID-19 cases and the death toll stands at 725.
Since originating in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 184 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly 1.39 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the global death toll over 79,000, and around 295,600 recoveries.