Ehab Serag Eddin, Director General of Blood Transfusion Services at the Egyptian Ministry of Health on Sunday expressed the Ministry’s gratitude for the immense response it has received to its blood plasma donation campaign to help in the treatment of coronavirus patients.
In a phone call with the DMC television program “Al-Youm” (Today) on Sunday evening, Serag Eddin praised the high number of donors on the Ministry of Health’s blood plasma donation page on Facebook, saying: “We did not expect this huge turnout, less than 24 hours after the campaign was launched.”
Egypt is the first country in the Middle East to launch a blood plasma donation campaign via Facebook, he mentioned.
Serag Eddin stressed the importance of the campaign, saying that it organizes the blood donation process and helps the donor find the nearest three regional centers providing blood transfusion services. It also allows the donor to set a specified time for making the donation.
The campaign is of great importance in managing the crisis. Patients register their blood types, and when there is a shortage in a particular governorate, the Facebook page sends messages to all the donors registered under that blood type, suggesting that they make a donation.
Serag Eddin also emphasized that the plasma of the recovered patient must be of the same type as the transfusion recipient’s blood. Type AB blood plasma, however, can be transfused to people possessing any blood type.
Egypt’s trial for coronavirus patient plasma therapy using plasma taken from recovered cases has so far been a success, Minsiter of Health Hala Zayed announced on Friday June 5.
In a statement, she explained that the trial was applied to several critical cases in hospitals belonging to the Health Ministry.
The trial showed promising initial results with a good recovery rate for patients, reducing the need for ventilators while increasing rates of recovery and hospital discharge.
Zayed implored those recovering from coronavirus to go to the nearest blood transfusion center affiliated to the National Blood Transfusion Services of the Ministry of Health and Population 14 days after their recovery to donate their plasma.
The experiment began after the US Food and Drug Administration announced the possibility of using plasma from recovering patients to treat critical cases, as this plasma contains antibodies effective in battling the virus.
This was backed up by research from countries around the world.
Health Ministry Spokesperson Khaled Megahed said that plasma from recovered patients could be injected to up to two seriously ill patients.
National blood transfusion centers communicate with recovered cases through support teams across the country, with dates set for the donors to give out their plasma, he added.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm