The entire world is suffering from this coronavirus pandemic. Many countries are lockdown to fight against coronavirus. The cases in India is also growing rapidly. Till now, India has already more than 20000 people infected with COVID-19 with 649 deceased and 3975 recovered. The medical staff, doctors and health workers are working day and night to find a viable treatment and vaccine that can cure novel coronavirus and free our country from this disease. Till now there is no vaccine and it seems like it will take a long time. But, last week, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has authorized the conduction of a clinical trial for plasma therapy against coronavirus.
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There are several medical institutions across India that have started implementing it for their patients. A piece of good news is most of the results have been promising.
Plasma Therapy or convalescent plasma is a procedure that aims at using antibodies from the blood of a recovered novel coronavirus patient to treat those critically affected by the virus. In this procedure, the immunity power gained by the recovered coronavirus patient is used in other infected and critically ill patients to cure them.
The blood plasma of patients who got cured of coronavirus has the immunity to fight against coronavirus. This immunity is transferred to infected patients. It gives them a strong weapon to fight against COVID-19.
SCTIMST, Director, Dr. Asha Kishore in conversation with India Science Wire explained,
“When a pathogen like novel coronavirus infects, our immune systems produce antibodies. Like the police dogs, the antibodies span out to identify and mark the invading virus.”
Dr. Asha further added,
“White blood cells attach the identified intruders, and the body gets rid of the infection. The therapy, like blood transfusion, harvests the antibody from a recovered patient and ingest into a sick person. Helped by the antibody, the immune system mounts robust combat on the virus.”
Positive Results Of Plasma Therapy
Within one week, when this treatment got a green signal, plasma therapy has shown promising results in the COVID-19 patients. As per the report, one of the first coronavirus patients to receive plasma therapy in a Delhi hospital Max healthcare is already recovered and off from the ventilator.
Another case is from the US. Kevin Rathel, a patient in Central Florida was put on plasma therapy after his condition deteriorated due to novel coronavirus. He was on life support. However, after 18 days of fighting battle with coronavirus, plasma therapy worked and he recovered fully from COVID-19 and now he is with his family at his home.
Is Plasma Therapy A Sanjivani Booty?
Looking at success stories from plasma therapy, we might think that it is a sanjivani booty we are looking for; the cure to take down coronavirus and brings everything to normal. But, Group Medical Director at Max Healthcare and Senior Director at the Institute of Internal medicine Dr. Sandeep Budhiraja states,
“We are delighted that the therapy worked well in his case, opening a new treatment opportunity during these challenging times. But it is important that we also understand that Plasma Therapy is no magic bullet.”
“During the patient’s treatment at Max Hospital, Saket, other standard treatment protocols were followed and we can say that Plasma Therapy could have worked as a Catalyst in speeding up his recovery. We cannot attribute 100 percent recovery to Plasma Therapy only, as there are multiple factors that carved his path to recovery.”
But after its impressive results, it is safe to say that Plasma therapy is a ray of hope that can be helpful to fight against COVID-19. It is a genuine request from all the people to take precautions from coronavirus and follow lockdown sincerely because prevention is always better than cure.