ITANAGAR, Oct 11: The state’s health and family welfare department has successfully installed apheresis machines at the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) in Naharlagun and the Bakin Pertin General Hospital (BPGH), Pasighat in East Siang district recently, paving the way for plasma therapy for Covid-19 patients.
An apheresis machine is a device which receives blood removed from a patient or donor’s body and separates it into its various components: plasma, platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells, etc. Depending on the reason for apheresis, one of these components is isolated and collected by the instrument, while the others are returned to the donor’s body.
“It is a step towards starting plasma therapy in Arunachal. We are starting this therapy now at the TRIHMS and in Pasighat. It will help to save severe Covid cases in Arunachal. We do expect that the Covid-cured persons of Arunachal will come forward to donate their plasma in the coming days,” said Health and Family Welfare Secretary P Parthiban.
“The machines have been installed and training was also completed on Friday. Both the hospitals are ready for plasma therapy for the needy people,” the secretary added.
The blood separating unit machine has inbuilt donor safety.
“Installation of the apheresis machine is a very good development for Arunachal as people had to travel outside the state for blood components,” said Dr Kaling Jerang, a senior pathologist at the BPGH, Pasighat.
It is informed that Backstar Sohbar, a technical supervisor at the BPGH’s blood bank is the first plasma donor, while Nyane Yomcha, a student at the Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat donated platelets to the BPGH on Saturday.
“It will be a big boon for the citizens of Pasighat (East Siang) and nearby districts. It is a small step for us, but a major leap forward for the people of this centurion town,” Dr Jerang added.
However, he said voluntary blood donors should come forward to donate blood components to keep the BPGH’s blood bank functioning smoothly.
It is said that Arunachal has been following an old method of whole blood transfusion (WBT) to date, which is considered as an archaic method of transfusing blood to patients.
On the other hand, blood component transfusion is considered the safest and healthiest method of transfusion.