The Centre, on Friday, has allowed ‘convalescent plasma therapy’ and ‘pool testing’ in the wake of Coronavirus cases increasing rapidly in the country. Maharashtra will be the first state that is set to test the method in India.
Convalescent Plasma Therapy
Touted to be a potential cure for the coronavirus, convalescent plasma therapy is a method in which antibodies from the plasma of a COVID-19 recovered patient is extracted and later injected into a person suffering from COVID-19.
Essentially, it means the transfer of immunity from a recovered case to a suffering patient. This is because, in a recovered patient’s plasma, antibodies that have fought the coronavirus are already present.
Centre has approved the therapy to be used in Maharashtra
The Centre has given permission to the Maharashtra Government to implement the therapy. The Government will also conduct 75000 Pool Tests in this regard.
Minister of Medical Education in Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Cabinet, Amit Deshmukh, on Friday, tweeted. In the tweet, Mr. Deshmukh also mentioned that Mumbai and Pune will be one of the first cities to make use of the method.
The #PlasmaTherapy on the Maharashtra Covid19 patients to soon begin at Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Solapur in the institutes run by #MinistryofMedicalEducation #GovtofMaharashtra @CMOMaharashtra @AjitPawarSpeaks @bb_thorat @AUThackeray @yadravkar @DrSanMukherjee @Maha_MEDD @MahaDGIPR
— Amit V. Deshmukh (@AmitV_Deshmukh) April 24, 2020
Arvind Kejriwal also revealed details of plasma therapy in Delhi
The Delhi Chief Minister said:
“The Central Government had given us permission only for limited trials of plasma therapy on serious patients at LNJP hospital. In the last few days, we have tried plasma therapy on four patients at LNJP hospital and till now the results are encouraging.”
A few weeks ago, Kerala had been given the go-ahead by ICMR to carry out the Plasma Therapy.
10 Things To Know 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 center 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.