‘Bayanihan na’: PGH seeks blood donation for Visayas region COVID-19 patients

June 30, 2020 - 8:27 PM
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A worker from the city's center for disease control and prevention draws blood from a man to conduct a test for antibodies against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Suifenhe, a city bordering Russia in China's Heilongjiang province, April 16, 2020. (Reuters/Huizhong Wu)

The Philippine General Hospital is asking COVID-19 survivors to donate blood for patients in the Visayas Region which has provinces seen to be the new “emerging hotspots” of the virus.

“Hospitals in the Visayas are in urgent need of convalescent plasma donors! A portion of our donations will be forwarded to help in the fight against COVID-19 in Cebu,” UP PGH said in a social media post.

Interested individuals can contact the numbers indicated on the poster.

They must also fill out an online screening form to determine if they are healthy enough to donate blood for the patients in need.

Posted by Philippine General Hospital on Sunday, June 28, 2020

 

Convalescent plasma therapy is a treatment used by doctors of the PGH to help COVID-19 patients, particularly those in severe and critical conditions, while there is still no vaccine available.

It is the process of getting antibody-rich plasma from the disease’s survivors to boost the immune system of those who are currently infected.

COVID-19 survivors have developed antibodies against the virus as a result of fighting against it. These are found in the liquid part of the blood known as plasma.

READ: Duterte claimed COVID-19 antibody cure expected to roll out in May despite clinical trials still underway

To extract the antibody-rich plasma, a blood donation is needed.

Once transfused to the patient, the plasma can boost their immune system and increase their chances of recovery.

The treatment has proved to be vital in fighting past outbreaks like the 1918 Spanish Flu to the more recent swine flu pandemic in 2009.

RELATED: COVID-19 plasma treatment: Everything you need to know

New hotspots 

The Department of Health said that six areas in the Visayas Region were emerging as the new COVID-19 hotspots due to the rise of confirmed cases.

These are Cebu City, Cebu province, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Leyte and Samar, according to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

An independent tracker notes that Cebu City remains the top city with the most number of COVID-19 cases, where 4,639 individuals are infected as of June 29.

Region 7, meanwhile, is the second-highest region to have positive cases with 7,255 individuals as of June 29.