The first experiment to utilise plasma therapy for treating a COVID-19 patient has been successful in Maharashtra, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.
While talking to reporters, Tope said, “The first plasma therapy has been successful in Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital. We are carrying out a second experiment on another patient in BYL Nair hospital, also in Mumbai. We are hopeful that it will be successful as well.”
WHAT IS PLASMA THERAPY
Convalescent Plasma Therapy is an experimental procedure for COVID-19 patients. In this treatment plasma, a blood component, from a cured COVID-19 patient is transfused to a critically ill coronavirus patient.
The blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 develops antibodies to battle against the virus. This therapy uses antibodies from the blood of a cured coronavirus patient to treat another critical patient.
AIIMS TO CONDUCT TRIALS
The All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is planning to conduct a trial of the plasma therapy in the treatment of the coronavirus and methods of taking approvals from the Drug Controller General of India are being worked out.
Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS, said that the mode of treatment in coronavirus is still at an ‘experimental stage’. There is a need for good and well-conducted research before its benefit, and this therapy can be advocated for routine use in COVID-19 patients.
PLASMA THERAPY IS NOT PROVEN TREATMENT
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry on Tuesday said that plasma therapy was still under experimental stages in the country and the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) has not yet approved this therapy for use.
Agarwal stated, “The ICMR is currently undertaking a pan India study to determine the efficacy of plasma therapy in COVID patients, and the plasma from cured patients can only be used for trial and research purposes and not for treatment. Such use is illegal and can have life-threatening complications for those who are administered plasma”.
The FDA in the USA has accepted the use of plasma therapy only for investigational purposes and not for treatment. Even, studies around the world currently happening on various treatments against COVID, plasma therapy is one of them.
Meanwhile, India’s tally of the novel coronavirus positive cases has reached 31,332 with 1,007 deaths according to the latest reports from the Health Ministry.
(With PTI inputs)