NEIGRIHMS to install Apheresis machine

Correspondent Shillong, Aug 3 | Publish Date: 8/3/2020 9:52:56 AM IST
The super-specialty North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) hospital in Shillong is all set to install an apheresis machine to help COVID-19 patients with moderate symptoms.
“We have already procured the high-end apheresis machine. It was supposed to be installed last week but the engineer had to return back from the border due to the strict lockdown despite having his travel permit,” the NEIGRIHMS Director, Dr. Prithwis Bhattacharya said on Monday.
“We have informed the State government and they have agreed to allow the engineer to travel. Once the installation process is completed, another laboratory expert will come from Kolkata or Delhi to provide training for our staff and then apply for license through the drug controller because plasma is a drug. We are expecting that we will be getting it from Guwahati for the license,” Bhattacharya said.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the government was considering setting up a plasma bank for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
“We are actively examining this, and close consultation is being held with the authority of NEIGRIHMS. Once the process is completed, we will take a call for information to citizens of the state,” he said.
Tynsong said that people who have recovered from COVID-19 can voluntarily donate blood to the plasma bank.
In plasma therapy, blood is taken from a donor, who is a COVID-19 recovered person, who has developed antibodies against the “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).”
An apheresis machine is used to separate the blood components. After the plasma is extracted, the blood containing red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets is transfused back to the donor’s body.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya registered 28 more COVID 19 cases on Monday, taking the total active cases to 633. Of the fresh cases, 21 (6 others, 2 armed forces, 13 BSF) were detected in East Khasi Hills, five (armed forces) in Ri-Bhoi and two in West Jaintia Hills.
With 518 active cases (226 BSF, 59 armed forces personnel and 233 others), East Khasi Hills is the most affected district in Meghalaya. As on date, West Khasi Hills has five active cases, Ri-Bhoi - 55, West Jaintia Hills - 16, East Jaintia Hills - 17, West Garo Hills - 16, South West Garo Hills – four and South Garo Hills - two.
Health Minister A. L. Hek informed that of the 38,596 swab samples sent for testing, 37,004 came out negative, while the results of 690 were awaited.

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