JAIPUR: Given the encouraging results of plasma therapy as a treatment option for coronavirus patients, Rajasthan has started preparations to try the same. The state government has meanwhile sought the ICMR’s permission to administer the therapy.
Jaipur’s SMS hospital has already identified a plasma donor and once the Centre gives its nod, the SMS Hospital will become the first in the state to begin trials and access the effectiveness of the therapy on COVID-19 patients. Plasma therapy is already being used to treat corona patients in Delhi.
The number of COVID-19 patients are rapidly rising Rajasthan and that’s the reason why the administration at the SMS Hospital is keen to try plasma therapy. A Special Team of Doctors under the Principal of SMS Medical College Dr. Sudhir Bhandari studied in detail how the therapy can be effectively adopted at the hospital and gave its nod to try the therapy in the state. The team members said that all preparations are complete and once the permission is granted they will begin plasma therapy at the SMS Hospital within two days. The team says it is hopeful of ICMR's permission within the next five days.
According to experts, when a person gets infected with coronavirus, antibodies are created in the blood of the patient against the virus. Under the plasma therapy, antibodies from the blood of patients cured of the coronavirus infection are used to treat COVID-19 patients. When the virus enters the body of a healthy person, it goes through three stages. To treat a patient via plasma therapy, the best time is during the second stage since the therapy prevents the patient from entering the critical third stage. Till now, many COVID-19 patients have responded well to this therapy and their condition has shown much improvement.
The Professor and Head of Medicine Department at the SMS Medical Hospital, Dr. Raman Sharma says that plasma therapy will be used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. "For the patients who have some respiratory or lung infections, coronavirus is really dangerous. We plan to use the plasma therapy for such critical patients which will help us to greatly reduce the number of corona deaths," he added.
Dr Rateesh Sareen, Consultant Pathologist and Assistant Medico-legal director, SDMH Jaipur, said that convalescent plasma for COVID-19 is an investigational treatment for moderate to severe COVID-19 infection and in the past such treatment were used for H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009 and Ebola outbreak in 2013. "The plasma donation is harmless to donor and a person can donate only once a week for four weeks after recovery. The current treatment protocols for COVID- 19 have been ambivalent. Let's hope this plasma use is expedient as plasma donation is plenitude, cost-effective, and without major constraints. A welcome move by SMS hospital."
So far, 473 patients have won the war against coronavirus in the state and now an appeal is being made to these recovered patients to donate plasma so that thousands of COVID-19 patients who are now battling the virus can be cured. They are being told that in this critical time, nothing can be a bigger donation than something which saves lives.
The Team of Doctors are also trying to dispel popular worries in a bid to inspire people to donate plasma. "Donating plasma is totally safe and healthy. Just as in Dengue patients platelets are given, similarly, for COVID-19 patients only plasma is taken which neither causes weakness nor does it pose any danger to the donor," says Dr Raman Sharma.
After 25 new cases on Saturday, the total number of corona positive cases in Rajasthan has risen to 2059 with 32 succumbing to the ailments.