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AIIMS nurses set up WhatsApp group to help Covid patients with blood, plasma donations

The AIIMS nurses started the group, called Abhayam, last month. It has over 160 members who coordinate efforts for blood and plasma donations.

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New Delhi: The nurses at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital are running an online group to help Covid-19 patients who need blood or plasma donation for treatment.

The WhatsApp group called ‘Abhayam’, which means help in Malayalam, was started by the nursing officers of AIIMS to help mobilise blood donations for trauma patients on 1 June, said Joseph C.T, a 41-year nursing officer at the institute.

As the Covid situation started deteriorating in Delhi and the requirement grew for plasma therapy — an experimental therapy under which antibody-rich plasma is taken from recovered patients and administered to active cases — the group also added in the option of plasma donation.

“We started a WhatsApp group for finding blood donors … As we started connecting people we realised that finding plasma for Covid patients was getting difficult for families. So 15 days into the initiative, we added an option for plasma donation as well,” said Joseph.

Over the last couple of weeks, the group claims to have helped at least 10 patients with blood or plasma related donations.


Also read: Maharashtra doubles Covid testing in July as it looks to cut record positivity, death rates


How the group works

So far, the group has 160 AIIMS nursing officers as members. For blood donations, the members are ready to help financially or find donors for patients. For plasma, Joseph said, “As of now, I have over 30 members from the group who are ready to donate plasma and can do so whenever the need arises.”

Explaining their process, the AIIMS nursing officer said that whenever any member of the group comes across a query or requirement, they forward it to the WhatsApp group and a willing donor connects with the patient.

Citing an example, he said, “On 9 June, one of our members donated plasma to a patient in Max Superspeciality Hospital, Saket. And on 12 June, the patient tested negative for Covid.”

The group has also created another database on Google Docs, with 178 persons — AIIMS workers or their families — listed as willing blood donors.

“The nurses of AIIMS have been helping people for a long time now but with this initiative they have roped in the friends and family members as well. So any willing hospital healthcare worker who has previously tested positive or has a family member like that has been registered in this document,” he said.

As of Wednesday, Delhi recorded 1,32,275 cases of coronavirus and 3,881 deaths.


Also read: India’s R value remains steady at 1.17, active cases may cross 10 lakh by 15 August


 

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