The North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) is all set to install an aphaeresis machine to start a plasma bank for plasma therapy.

NEIGRIHMS director Dr. Prithwis Bhattacharya on Monday said that an apheresis machine was procured, and it has to be installed.

“An engineer was supposed to come a few days ago, but due to the strict lockdown protocols, he turned back to Assam despite having a travelling permit to Shillong,” he said.

After installing the machine, Dr Bhattacharya said, a person from Calcutta or Delhi would come to provide training for NEIGHRIMS staff.

“Once they provide training to our staff, then, we can apply for license through the Drug Controller because plasma is a drug. We are expecting that we will be getting the license from Guwahati,” the NEIGRIHMS director informed.

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.

In plasma therapy, blood is taken from a donor, who is a COVID-19 recovered person and has developed antibodies against the “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).”

Meanwhile, Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong told reporters on Monday that the state government has also discussed during the review meeting an agenda related to the creation of a plasma bank in the state.

“During the review meeting, we had a detailed discussion and we are actively examining this, and in close consultation with the authority of NEIGRIHMS. Once the process is completed, we will take a call,” Tynsong said.

Tynsong said that people who have recovered from COVID-19 can voluntarily donate blood to the plasma bank.

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