LUCKNOW: Tauseef Khan, a resident doctor at the KGMU here who recently defeated COVID-19, began the holy month of Ramzan, which is considered a time for giving, by donating his plasma for treatment of others suffering from the deadly disease.
Khan, in his late 20s, contracted coronavirus from a patient while working at the King George's Medical University and tested positive for the infection on March 17.
He was discharged from the hospital on April 7 and is now back at work after a 14-day home quarantine.
"Dr D Himanshu of Medicine Department, who is looking after the treatment of COVID-19 patients, asked me if I wanted to become the first plasma donor (of KGMU). I immediately said yes as nothing could be greater than being able to save the life of a patient in the holy month of Ramzan," Khan said.
He said he observed his first 'roza' on Saturday and gave his blood after consulting clerics whether it is permissible to do so while fasting.
Head of Transfusion Medicine, KGMU, Tulika Chandra told PTI, "The work on administering medical treatment to COVID-19 patients through plasma therapy began on Saturday."
"In this context, the blood sample of Dr Tauseef Khan, a resident doctor who had recovered from COVID-19, was taken for testing. In the test, the condition of the antibodies was found quite good," she said.
Chandra said, "In the evening, the process of extracting plasma from his body started, and almost 500 millilitres of plasma was extracted. The process took almost one-and-half hour."
She said Khan's plasma will be administered on Monday or Tuesday to a patient who is in a serious condition and in whose case medicines aren't working.
"The patient will be given 200 millilitres of plasma. In other words, plasma donated by one patient (who has recovered from COVID-19) can be used for the treatment of two patients. If there is no positive result after the first 200 millilitres of plasma has been infused, then another 200 millilitres is infused," she elaborated.
Asked about the chances of success of plasma therapy, Chandra said, "It seems that the chances of (success of) plasma therapy are good, and it is for this reason that this therapy is gradually being adopted across the country for treatment of COVID-19 patients. We are hopeful that KGMU will emerge successful in plasma therapy."
On April 21, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had asked the state's medical authorities to promote plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 patients after examining its efficacy.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently allowed states to start clinical trials of plasma therapy.
Several states like Kerala, Gujarat and Punjab have already started using it for treatment of coronvairus patients.
Convalescent Plasma Therapy is an experimental procedure for COVID-19 patients.
In this treatment, plasma from a cured COVID-19 patient is transfused to a critically ill coronavirus patient.
The idea behind this therapy is that immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using convalescent plasma.
This therapy uses antibodies from the blood of a cured coronavirus patient to treat another critical patient.
The recovered COVID-19 patient's blood develops antibodies to battle against COVID-19.
Once the blood of the recovered patient is infused to the second patient, those antibodies will start fighting against coronavirus in the second person's body.
The process of donating plasma is similar to donating blood and takes about an hour.
Several countries around the world, including the United Kingdom and the United States have also started plasma therapy trials.