Medals were given out on Tuesday by the Turkish Red Crescent to those who recovered from COVID-19 and donated plasma for other patients suffering from the disease.
“Our country has been carrying out a solid fight against the outbreak,” said İbrahim Altan, general director of the Turkish Red Crescent, at a ceremony organized in Ankara.
"We collect plasma from the blood of recovered patients to heal others. So far, 281 plasma donations have been collected and sent to hospitals,” he added.
Kürşat Reşat Demir, a doctor who donated plasma for the third time, was presented a medal at the ceremony.
Altan said that Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Denizli and Trabzon are the leading provinces in donations, as he continued to invited patients from other provinces that have recovered to make more donations.
“I am happy to be serving people in such a way along with working as a doctor in the field. I want to thank the Turkish Red Crescent for its leading role in this process. It has been two weeks since I made my first donation, and this is my third one and I do not have any problems. I recommend everyone who meets the criteria make a donation,” he said.
This century-old complementary therapy has been used to fight off flu and measles outbreaks in the past. Using blood donated by patients who have recovered from COVID-19, medical experts are hoping that the serum therapy, tried more recently against SARS and Ebola, will offer effective treatment for the sick and temporary vaccine-like protection for health care workers and those with weak or suppressed immune systems. The therapy will test if giving infusions of survivors' antibody-rich plasma to COVID-19 patients who have been intubated in intensive care units and have begun to show alveolar damage or those having trouble breathing would boost their own body’s defenses to help fight off the virus. There are several prerequisites for being a plasma donor. First, the patient must have tested positive for the coronavirus, so there must be evidence that they were, indeed, infected by it. Second, they must be discharged from the hospital and declared virus-free.