What Is Plasma Therapy? And Is It a Cure For COVID -19!!

Different parts of India are now running Convalescent Plasma Therapy as a treatment for patients with severe COVID-19 cases. Although the treatment is still in a trial phase, it has started to show promising results. According to IANS report the Ministry of Science & Technology, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the top authorizing body in India, has also given its approval. In the states where plasma therapy was used the patients are also showing a positive result.

What is plasma therapy?

The method ‘Convalescent Serum Therapy’ dates to 1918; when it was used during the outbreak of the Spanish Flu. After which it has been used in 2005 during the SARS epidemic. According to the medical journal The Lancet, it was used to improve the survival rates of patients. In 2009 it was used for H1N1 patients, 2014 for those infected by Ebola in 2014 and in 2015 for MERS patients in different parts of the world.

Considering the number of positive cases, plasma therapy is being used even in the case of Covid-19. When our body is attacked by a pathogen it produces antibodies or immunoglobulin (Ig) to fight and these can help an infected patient. In convalescent plasma therapy, the liquid part of blood is collected from patients who are cured of infection as it contains antibodies that might help them fight the infection.

According to The Lancet, ‘Evidence shows that convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from viral infections can be used as a treatment without the occurrence of severe adverse events.’ The antibodies from the recovered patients are injected into a critically ill patient to boost their fight against the virus.

How is plasma collected?

The blood is taken from the recovered patient and the plasma is separated. It is then tested for the antibodies and then administered to Covis-19 patients who is critically ill.

Plasma donors for COVID 19

Plasma donation is almost like a blood donation. Donors are hooked to a device that will separate the plasma from red blood cells and the entire process takes about an hour. According to reports for donating your plasma for COVID 19, you need to have been a patient before and should be completely symptom-free before donation.

One can donate for two weeks or 14 days after recovery. But donation is not so easy, one needs to be physically fit to qualify for plasma donation. As most of the survivors of COVID 19 are elderly or people with prior health problems finding an appropriate donor is difficult.

Treatments across the country

Several states in India are interested in trying plasma therapy as a treatment for Covid-19. India’s apex health research body, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has already given nod for plasma therapy across the country and Kerala was the first state to plan trails. Delhi which is one of the hotspots of coronavirus in the country has just recently completed round plasma therapy tests with four Covid-19 patients at the city-based Lok Nayak Hospital.

According to reports Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the initial results of the plasma therapy used on four coronavirus patients in the city were encouraging. The CM said that while plasms therapy cannot be considered as a cure for coronavirus, they will consider it as an option for serious patients. Gujarat has also used the therapy on two patients who according to the government showed positive results.

A PTI report also said that Maharashtra has also got approval to test plasma therapy which might be saving grace for the state which has become a hotspot. Plasma Therapy is showcasing promising results, and while medical researchers are working to look for a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 this therapy is so far helping on critically ill patients.

Source: https://news.abplive.com/news/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-plasma-therapy-1206297

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