Corona Virus: Kerala gets approval to treat patients through Plasma Therapy
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will use plasma therapy to deal with cases of COVID-19. Kerala will be the first state to conduct clinical trials regarding plasma therapy. The Kerala government has set up a task force of doctors and scientists who requested a proposal in front of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and got its approval on Wednesday.
ICMR officials clarified that this would be done only through clinical trials on patients in critical condition or on ventilator support. ICMR says, “We are in the final stages of creating a protocol for plasma therapy and after which we will need an approval from the Drug Controller General of India”.
What is Convalescent Plasma Therapy?
Convalescent plasma therapy involves extracting plasma from the blood of a person who has recovered from the COVID-19 and transferring it to an infected person. Plasma is a component of blood.
When a person recovers from COVID-19, an antibody is produced in their body to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Through the plasma, the antibodies are removed and introduced into the infected patient. This strengthens the patient’s immune system.
Plasma therapy trials has proved effective in China and South Korea
Plasma therapy was first tested in China on five critically ill people with the corona virus. The health of these patients started improving from the first dose and now all five have been cured.
This trial was very small according to the medical parameters but the results were quite encouraging.
Similarly, two elderly patients have been successfully treated in South Korea.
How it works?
Trials are also being conducted in America. According to the study, plasma transfusion increases lymphocytes in the patient’s body, improves liver and lung conditions, and reduces inflammation.
During this time there is no adverse effect on the health of the patient. However, more experiments are needed for improvement according to researchers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved trials of plasma therapy in the US, and trials have begun in many places, including New York.
Plasma therapy has been used for years to prevent infection
According to the Experts, the plasma has been used to prevent and treat infections since the 1890s.
Professor T Jacob John of Christian Medical College Vellore said that the success of treatment depends on whom and when it is given.
He said that it should be given to patients who already have diseases like diabetes and hypertension before the condition worsens.
Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in Thiruvananthapuram has been given its permission. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the government have already given sanction to conduct clinical trials.
SCTIMST Director Dr Asha Kishore told that plasma therapy, where blood from patients who recovered from COVID-19 is utilized, would be tried on other patients who are critically ill.
The report says that China South Korea has been successful in using it. Doctors say that antibodies can be taken from a patient’s blood only 14 days after his recovery. Antibodies are present only in plasma and about 800 ml of plasma is taken from the donor’s body.