WATCH: Qatar uses blood plasma treatment for some COVID-19 patients, yields positive results
While Qatar has been working tirelessly to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it has also been ensuring the patients who contract the disease receive the best possible medical care and are able to beat the virus.
The country has designated some of its existing facilities as dedicated COVID-19 testing and treatment centers. It has also set up new facilities within an impressive time.
According to Dr Muna Al Maslamani, Medical Director of Hamad Medical Corporation’s Communicable Disease Center (CDC), the center began using blood plasma treatment for some critical cases of the infection and the initial results have been promising.
Doha, April 16 (QNA) - Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has begun using blood plasma to treat some COVID-19 cases at its Communicable Diseases Center (CDC). pic.twitter.com/JXe0AyPCjw— مؤسسة حمد الطبية (@HMC_Qatar) April 16, 2020
Blood plasma treatment
Blood plasma treatment involves collecting blood from patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19, then transfusing this blood into patients who are currently receiving treatment for the virus.
The idea behind this treatment is that the antibodies that were formed in a COVID-19 survivor, which helped the patient defeat the virus, may also be useful to fight the virus in other affected patients.
These antibodies found in the recovered patients’ plasma, the liquid portion of the blood, can be used to strengthen the resistance of those undergoing treatment.
Speaking about blood plasma, Dr. Al Maslamani stated that the blood consists of the liquid part called the plasma and the cellular part that includes white and red blood cells and platelets,— مؤسسة حمد الطبية (@HMC_Qatar) April 16, 2020
Communicable Disease Center
In Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation’s Communicable Disease Center (CDC) has set up a clinic, which focuses on blood plasma treatment.
The center utilizes state-of-the-art technology in this regard and makes sure the donors are free from infectious blood conditions.
Typically, an extraction session would take 40 minutes.
The state-of-the-art plasma treatment service at the Communicable Diseases Center can help patients undergoing treatment for Coronavirus through enhancing their resistance to virus.#YourSafetyIsMySafety— مؤسسة حمد الطبية (@HMC_Qatar) April 16, 2020
According to Dr Al Maslamani, those who have recovered from COVID-19 in Qatar can donate about 600ml of their plasma two times a week.
This treatment was used for some COVID-19 patients recently and it has yielded positive results, the CDC director underlined.
It helped in improving the oxygen level of the patients. Clinical x-ray reports of the patients who underwent blood plasma treatment also indicated improvement in chest problems.
Increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients
The CDC medical director pointed out that one of the main reasons for the increased daily numbers at present is that the virus has entered the ‘peak stage’ in Qatar and the region.
While it is not possible to predict the numbers, the increase maybe until the end of April or early May, before the numbers begin to go down.
Other reasons include: tracing the chain of infection in certain segments of the society, which the officials from the Ministry of Public Health are working tirelessly to track, in addition to random screening for people who had been in contact with COVID-19 positive patients. The efforts are aimed at early detection followed by the appropriate isolation and treatment procedures.
Spokesperson of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management explained that the recent increase in the infections linked to an increase in the number of tests, and the adoption of proactive screening approach with a view to discovering transitional strings. #QNA— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) April 20, 2020
Health authorities in Qatar continue to implement the highest level of monitoring, detection, and management procedures to deal with the virus, the public has been advised to follow certain measures to safeguard their health.
For any queries, or concerns related to COVID-19 in Qatar, the public can contact a 24/7 hotline set up by the Ministry. The hotline number is 16000 and is toll-free.
Here's everything you need to know about the virus, including ways to protect yourself.
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