The first patient, who was administered convalescent plasma therapy on compassionate grounds at a private hospital in Saket, New Delhi has been completely cured and was discharged on Sunday. The 49-year-old man had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 4 and was admitted to Max Hospital, Saket, it said in a statement.
While speaking to news ANI, Dr Sangeeta, a doctor from Max Hospital said, "It is an encouraging news for India. He was finally discharged today. He will be in-home quarantine for another two weeks as per the government norm." The 49-year-old critically ill patient was administered fresh plasma as a treatment modality as a side-line to standard treatment protocols on the night of April 14.
The man was admitted with moderate symptoms and a history of fever and respiratory issues. His condition deteriorated during the next few days and he soon required external oxygen to maintain saturation. He soon developed pneumonia with Type I respiratory failure and had to be put on ventilator support on April 8.
When the patient showed no improvement in his condition, his family requested the hospital for the administration of plasma therapy on compassionate grounds, a first of its kind treatment modality that was used for this disease in India, the statement from the hospital read.
The family came forward to arrange a donor for extracting plasma. The donor had recovered from the infection — confirmed by two consecutive negative reports — three weeks before her donation and again tested COVID-19 negative at the time of donation along with other standard tests to rule out infections like Hep B, Hep C and HIV.
According to Max Hospital doctors, a single donor can donate 400 ml of plasma, which can save two lives, as 200 ml is sufficient to treat one patient. After receiving the treatment, the patient showed progressive improvement and by the fourth day was weaned off ventilator support on the morning of April 18 and continued on supplementary oxygen.
He had started taking the oral feeds 24-hours after being off ventilator support. He was shifted to a room with round-the-clock monitoring on Monday after testing negative twice within 24 hours, said the Max Hospital doctor.
Group medical director of Max Healthcare and senior director of the Institute of Internal Medicine Dr Sandeep Budhiraja said, "We can say that plasma therapy could have worked as a catalyst in speeding up his recovery. We cannot attribute 100% recovery to plasma therapy only, as there are multiple factors which carved his path to recovery."
(With inputs from agencies)