THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the state witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Health Department has decided to carry out the convalescent plasma treatment, a passive antibody therapy in which blood plasma is isolated from recovered persons and administered to the infected.
It will be used for patients with severe/critical COVID-19 infection on a compassionate basis. As per Principal Secretary (health) Rajan Khobragade, the treatment will be used to ensure the recovery of severe/critical patients. A member of the state expert committee on COVID-19 said it will be used only as a last resort.
“Before the treatment, an undertaking will be sought from the patient, who will be told that convalescent plasma therapy is not an approved medication for treating COVID-19 and is being used on a compassionate basis,” said the member.
“Its use may be considered among those who are aged above 18 years, with laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of infection with SARS-CoV-2, suffering from severe or life-threatening Covid-19, with informed consent provided by the patient or relative and upon emergency approval from the institutional human ethics committee,” said the member.
Rajan Khobragade, in a May 27 advisory, said the treatment will be used if a patient has one or more of life-threatening conditions like respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ dysfunction or failure.
It is highlighted that minors having known hypersensitivity to blood products are excluded.
“Donors will be explained the procedure of plasma donation and the adverse events associated with it. The collected plasma will be divided into 200ml packs. Successful donors will be requested to donate again. If they agree, the second donation will be scheduled after at least two weeks of the first,” it said.
Earlier, the Indian Council of Medical Research had included six institutions – GMCs in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Malabar Cancer Centre, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Cochin and Baby Memorial Hospital, Kozhikode – convalescent plasma therapy trial, more commonly known as PLACID trial.
However, recognition to these institutions to become a part of the trial is yet to come.