Healing COVID-19 using Plasma Therapy
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Healing COVID-19 using Plasma Therapy

Plasma therapy seems to be offering a ray of hope in the treatment of Covid-19, as per the studies conducted in Uttar Pradesh. The plasma therapy success is about 76% of survival. This is considerably more than the studies conducted by ICMR. It is hailed as a boon for some patients whose condition might have deteriorated into an irreversible state. Plasma Therapy is being conducted in 10 institutes in Uttar Pradesh.

Nearly 421 patients underwent plasma therapy transfusions there. The condition of nearly 321 recipients improved and they survived. The medical fraternity in the state went ahead with plasma therapy as ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) has agreed to the use of convalescent plasma therapy for moderately-ill patients.

Plasma Therapy has been carried out in UP since August. While there have been over 1000 recoveries from Covid-19, it has not been easy to secure plasma from the recovered patients as they have not agreed to it. Just about 25 patients have come forward to donate plasma. But only eight of the 25 patients were noticed to have sufficient antibodies for donation. Another option is to screen people in containment zones for antibodies.

There have been more Covid-19 cases in containment zones. Therefore more people might have developed antibodies towards it. Awareness is being created to encourage recovered Covid-19 patients to donate plasma. While it is not a miracle cure, it is an experimental therapy that has shown good results.

The doctor treating a Patient using an Injection

Plasma therapy involves using plasma extract from convalescent Covid-19 patients. Blood is taken from Covid-19 patients after a month of their total recovery. Plasma is extracted from this blood. The plasma is then injected into Covid-19 patients. The therapy is based on the premise that the extracted plasma from recovered patients contains antibodies.

The antibodies are critical in aiding Covid-19 patients in tackling the virus. ICMR studies indicate that plasma therapy is not very effective against progression in the severity of Covid-19 and subsequent mortality. But plasma therapy has shown success in moderately ill patients.

The therapy involves the use of a blood component called antibody-rich plasma. The use of this antibody-rich plasma aids the immune response of a patient. In most patients, it has reduced the need for oxygen and improved oxygen saturation levels. The Covid-19 patients who were administered plasma had reduced episodes of breathlessness.

They tested negative much faster than others. Patients who were administered plasma exhibited better organ failure score – a predictor of any form of multiple-organ failure.

Plasma therapy works best when administered at a very early stage. When the donors have a sufficiently higher concentration (titer) of the neutralizing antibodies, the success of plasma therapy is higher.