As India prepares to begin clinical trials of plasma treatment for critical COVID-19 patients, the medical fraternity believes that the therapy could yield encouraging results in treating the deadly disease. Speaking exclusively with Republic TV, Dr Debashish Gupta, Head and Professor, Department of Transfusion Medicine at an institution in Trivandrum said that the method has been used for decades to treat deadly viruses.
Convalescent plasma therapy is a process in which blood plasma from a patient who has recovered from COVID-19 is infused into a critically ill patient so that the specific antibodies present in the blood of the recovered person can help fight the infection. Dr Debashish said that the method has not been attempted to treat Coronavirus in India yet, and will be tried for the first time in Kerala.
"We are hopeful that this therapy will give encouraging results. COVID-19 cases in the country have exceeded 7,000 as of date. More patients need this treatment for early recovery," Dr Gupta told Republic TV.
Noting that government guidelines need to be followed before commencing the therapeutic treatment, Dr Gupta said the doctors are waiting for approvals from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The plasma therapy is said to boost the treatment capacity of COVID-19 patients in India.
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India is in the final stages of framing a protocol for conducting a clinical trial for convalescent plasma therapy, which uses antibodies from the blood of cured patients, to treat severely-ill COVID-19 patients, a senior ICMR official said.
Kerala is set to become the first state in the country to commence convalescent plasma therapy. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given its nod to the state government for the first of its kind project, initiated by the prestigious Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST).