After Delhi's Max Hospital revealed that their first patient administered with Plasma Therapy on compassionate grounds, has shown positive results, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Thursday informed that the use of convalescent plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients has started at various centres in the country.
Speaking to ANI, Guleria said that large number of patients who are cured of COVID-19, have come forward and have volunteered to donate their blood.
"At various centres, we have now started using convalescent plasma that is the blood of COVID-19 patients who have recovered. A large number of patients who have become alright, have come forward and have volunteered to donate their blood," said Guleria.
"We are also looking at new drugs for the treatment, and various other repurposed drugs, which are already available in our country, are also being looked as treatment strategies," he added.
Meanwhile, India's count of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 21,393 after 1,409 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today.
In a major step forward, Delhi's Max Hospital on Monday has revealed that their first patient administered with Plasma Therapy on compassionate grounds, has shown positive results. The hospital has stated that the patient, a 49-year-old male, was recently weaned off ventilator support. They added that the patient had tested positive on April 4 and then developed pneumonia with Type I respiratory failure on April 8.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Group Medical Director of Max Hospital Dr Sandeep Budhiraja apprised about the condition of the patient and further narrated the protocol of the therapy.
"The patient was treated as per standard protocol, the situation kept deteriorating and he suffered from a respiratory failure. He was put on ventilator. On the request from patients family, we took exceptional approval on compassionate ground from the ethics committee," said Dr Budhiraja.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has stated that plasma therapy can only be used for clinical trials and not for treatment as such. Several governments like Kerala, Delhi, Maharashtra have already received permission from the Centre to start plasma therapy on critical patients, by administering plasma donated by a cured patient on a COVID-19 critical patient to battle the virus affecting the patient. On Friday, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation issued a NOC to all states, allowing convalescent plasma trials under ICMR guidelines.