As researchers across the world are trying to find a solution for COVID-19, the news is being heard that Convalescent Plasma Therapy could be explored as a possibility in this direction. There have been reports of this technique to have cured a few of COVID-19 and hence, the talk around it. In this article, we provide short know-how about plasma therapy.
Transfer of immunity from one person to another
The Plasma Therapy is based on a simple concept, wherein, a transfer in immunity is attempted from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 to the patient, still suffering from the infection.
Human bodies produce anti-bodies against pathogens that enter the body. In this method, these anti-bodies are tried to be transmitted to the patient, using plasma cells from the recovered patient. Convalescent Plasma refers to the plasma from the recovered individual.
The history dates back to a century with regard to this technique. During the Spanish-flue pandemic in 1918, and Diptheria outbreak in 1920, this technique was apparently used.
Tried most recently for Ebola
Most recently, the technique was attempted to treat Ebola.
Effectiveness of the therapy
It has been reported that the effectiveness of plasma therapy has been varied.
Differences in Mild & Severe cases
Immunity develops faster in patients in mild symptoms while the process is slower in symptomatic patients. Hence, plasma therapy is chosen accordingly for treatment.
Houston Methodist – The First Centre to Attempt the method
Houston Methodist has become the first academic medical centre in the US to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient into a critically ill patient.
Process of donating plasma is similar to donating blood
The process of donating plasma is similar to donating blood. It takes around one hour during which plasma donors are hooked to a device that removes plasma from their bodies while simultaneously transmitting RBC’s back into the blood flow.
China has a few successful cases with this technique
China has reported a few successful cases with the usage of this technique. This has encouraged other countries to try the method.
Kerala first in India to try out the method
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has permitted Kerala to test this technique to cure COVID-19 patients. Thus, it has become the first state in the country to do so