Coronavirus cases don’t see any fullstop in the near future. Cases are continuously increasing. The total coronavirus cases in world has reached 2.95m. The death toll has reached 205k and 861k people have recovered till now.
In India as well the cases are on a spree. Total cases in India has reached 26,917. 5,914 have recovered and 826 people have died.
The entire world is suffering. Darkness looms large on the world. Each country, each city, each laboratory and each scientist is working day and night to find a vaccine.
In such a situation, Convalescent Plasma therapy has raised some hopes and many other countries of the world including India are using this. Recently, Delhi has treated 3-4 patients who were in a critical state through plasma therapy.
It can be said that plasma therapy has emerged as a ray of hope for the world which is ravaged by death and destruction due to this virus.
Where is plasma therapy used?
In the capital city of India, the state government started giving plasma therapy to 6 people affected with Covid-19 and positive changes have been seen in four of them .
Karnataka has also started a clinical trial of plasma therapy this week . The Bihar government also wants try it in Patna AIIMS .
Kerala, which was the first to talk about plasma therapy, is also going to start work in this direction soon . More than 30 hospitals from different states of the country have sought its permission.
The UK government has clarified on Saturday that people who are seriously ill with Covid-19 are being given plasma therapy. The government says that they are starting clinical trials and will try to get plasma from people so that at least 5,000 patients can be treated every week.
The American Food and Drug Administration has requested to donate plasma to people recovering from Covid-19 so that it can be used for others.
According to the World Health Organization , Convalescent plasma was used to combat the Ebola virus and it is expected that coronavirus can also be treated through it.
China has also used this
China, from where the corona virus started circulating worldwide, has also been successful in using plasma therapy. When the outbreak of cases was enormous in China, it had also used plasma therapy and results were fruitful.
An official of the Chinese National Health Commission Guo Yanhong commented upon the efficiency of this therapy. He said “so far it has proven to be safe and effective.”
Has India found the vaccine in plasma therapy?
Chief of the Corona panel in Delhi, and SK Sarin, a doctor at ILBS Hospital, says that vaccine and plasma therapy are two different things. Plasma therapy is a head start in the treatment, however it won’t eliminate the virus from the world. For this, a vaccine is required”.
He says, “Vaccination is a kind of preventive step that will be needed by every person. Those who do not get the vaccine may have corona infection and will need treatment in this way. Plasma therapy is used in their treatment.”
In those who have Covid-19 disease due to Corona virus, the virus starts spreading in the first stage. After this, in the second stage it affects the lungs. And in the third stage, the organ starts failing.
Doctor Sarin says “If plasma therapy is given at the beginning of the second stage of infection, the patient is expected to survive but it cannot replace the vaccine.”
He says that “this is a new virus, work on its vaccine is going on in many places but we have to wait till then”.
There is no anti-viral drug yet for the treatment of Covid-19. So until the anti-virus is found, the light beam of hope is plasma therapy.
Doctor Sarin believes that this therapy can be used on a large scale until the treatment of corona virus is found.
They say that plasma donor should come forward for this and people can give blood for it many times because it does not cause weakness in the person.
During the Corona epidemic, government health agencies in the US and several companies working on plasma have formed a plasma alliance together. This alliance is trying to move forward on its use in the treatment of Covid-19.
At the same time, different states in India are moving forward on their level after the permission of ICMR and Drugs Controller-General of India, but there seems to be lack of an organized effort.
What is plasma therapy?
Convalescent plasma therapy is based on the assumption that patients who recover from an infection develop resistant antibodies that neutralize the infection in their body.
With the help of these antibodies, the virus present in the blood of Covid-19 patient can be eliminated.
Plasma treatment has been done for centuries to treat infectious diseases. Earlier, plasma therapy was also used in the treatment of epidemics like SARS, MERS and H1N1.
The main obstacle
The main obstacle that this treatment is facing is the lack of donors of plasma. People who have recently recovered from coronavirus are extremely fearful of coming in contact with the virus again. Also, skepticism in people relating to this therapy also persists. Thus, people are hesitating in donating the plasma.
How effective is plasma therapy?
- A 49-year-old-male, the first coronavirus patient who was administered plasma therapy in the Max Hospital, Saket, has shown positive results. He was critically ill and was on ventilator but now favourable results are coming and he is recovering.
- The four patients on which plasma treatment has been tried at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital have shown encouraging results.
- China has also administered plasma therapy on it patients and recovery rates were very convincing
- WHO calls plasma therapy a very “valid approach”
Can plasma donated by any person treat coronavirus?
The patients who have recovered from coronavirus since 2 weeks and are healthy can donate their plasma which contains antibodies and can fight coronavirus in patients currently affected.
However, what needs to be kept in mind is that plasma therapy is not the vaccine for coronavirus. It is just a method of treatment.