Coronavirus in India: Delhi hospitals accelerate research on Convalescent Plasma therapy to treat Covid-19 patients

28 April, 2020 | newsx bureau

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Coronavirus in India: Convalescent Plasma (CP) Therapy churning out to be the new way to treat COVID-19 patients. Delhi hospitals-- Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, GB Pant, Rajiv Ga...

Coronavirus in India: Convalescent Plasma (CP) Therapy is emerging as the latest and an effective form of treatment that actively cures Covid-19 patients by boosting up the functions of the antibody. Most of the hospitals in the national capital, which is dealing with Covid-19 cases such as Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, GB Pant, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are conducting rigorous research on the CP Therapy to asses its full effectiveness.

However, most of these hospitals have agreed to have received an encouraging outcome. So far there are two studies with six and ten patients, where the therapy has shown some positive results on coronavirus positive patients.

“I still feel we need to have rigorous research before we are able to say that CP is an effective treatment for corona patients. I think we need to look at it in a more research type of a treatment modality rather than which actually can be done for all patients suffering from COVID-19,” AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria told ANI.

“We will have to select patients properly. Just taking plasma for everyone who has recovered and giving it to sick patients may not be enough. We have to do a detailed antibody titer testing to see what is the degree of antibodies in the plasma,” he said.

The AIIMS is currently working on starting plasma therapy soon as a research tool in patients admitted in an intensive care unit (ICU). Several patients who have recovered from the disease have donated their blood.

LNJP and GB Pant hospitals along with plasma therapy also opted for placebo therapy for treating corona positive cases. Dr JC Passi, Medical Director of LNJP said, “We are still short of cases to give any conclusive remark on either plasma or placebo therapy and can only be able to say after we complete 10 to 20 cases but yes recent results are encouraging.”

On being asked if the hospital is experiencing any dearth in plasma collection, Passi said, “It is easy to convince people while they are admitted but once cured patients are going home they are changing their minds. We are trying to contact all those who have recovered and asking them to cooperate in this research.”

BL Sherwal, Medical Director, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital said that plasma therapy is only for patients who are critical. He said most of the patients in their hospital are asymptomatic.

“We would be starting plasma therapy and we are contacting people who have been discharged from our hospital and the majority had come forward too to donate plasma. Now we are working on plasma storage which has a longevity of almost a month,” he said.

Plasma Therapy uses antibodies from the blood of a recovered Covid-19 positive patient and transfuses it into the body of patients critical of the same infection.
Nevertheless, like any other treatment, risk factors such as proper screening of blood and other transfusion-related reactions can never be omitted even in plasma therapy which is the relatively safe form of treatment and is in practice since the 1918 pandemic, the AIIMS Director said.

However, there are certain studies coming from India that suggest the number of people recovering is not having those good antibodies based on the antibody testing kit. At present many hospitals are engaged in continuos study on how to utilise the treatment more efficiently.