Plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients

Healthcare Radius|May 2020

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Plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients
With Max Healthcare, Saket credited with becoming the first Indian centre to successfully treat a COVID-19 patient with plasma therapy, Group Medical Director, Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, speaks about its effectiveness treatment
Sandeep Budhiraja

What is the category of COVID-19 patients that require plasma therapy? Is there any category of patients who cannot undertake it, because of other health complications?

People who have moderate to severe illness are the right candidates for treatment through plasma therapy. Medically, I would say people who have pneumonia with type I respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are the category of patients for this treatment. Patients with mild illness do not require plasma therapy and the treatment is futile in patients with very critical illness with multi-organ failure. There are no other medical conditions under which a patient cannot get this treatment.

How effective is the therapy?

Obviously, it is not a magic bullet and not 100% effective. It is one of the good treatment options available because as of now we do not have any definitive treatment for COVID-19. Most of the therapies are either experimental or have some effectiveness. This is one of the promising therapies, however, it is not an established treatment. More studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness but small studies have merged from the US- they are series of 5-patient report or 10-patient report.

In one series of 5-patient report, all 5 patients on ventilator have successfully come out of it and in another 10 series patients, they found the virus clearing happened rapidly after giving plasma treatment. Therefore, reports like these coupled with our first successful case where the patient responded well to the treatment indicate that plasma therapy is potentially effective therapy. However, larger studies need to be conducted to really say how effective it is.

How is the procedure conducted?

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May 2020