GRH plans to expand convalescent plasma therapy trials


The Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) is looking to expand convalescent plasma therapy trials for the treatment of selected COVID-19 patients.

Dean J. Sangumani said that till date, two recovered patients — a 39 year-old man and a 43 year-old man — had come forward to donate 500 ml of plasma each. A 72 year-old man had been the only recipient till date, he added.

Explaining the process of plasma therapy, Dr. Sangumani said that certain willing and healthy individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 are usually encouraged to come forward after 28 days of recovery and asked to undergo a complete medical check-up.

The check-up will indicate viral markers which might point to the existence of other diseases. All processes are according to the norms specified in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, he said.

After the routine tests are cleared, 500 ml of plasma will be collected and stored. “The plasma will have the required level of antibodies against the novel coronavirus. When a patient with moderate COVID-19 symptoms sees deterioration of health, we will then transfuse the plasma based on their condition in two doses and keep 100 ml for research purposes,” the Dean said.

He added that when the first such transfusion was done on June 7, the 72 year-old patient who had persistent shortness of breath was adjudged compatible to receive the therapy. “He responded well and recovered too,” he said.

The Dean said that in order to expand their trials, doctors had been approaching patients who had recovered through telephone communication and asking them to donate plasma.

“We have been trying to raise awareness and are hoping to get more people involved in the research. I have contacted 10 patients myself and more doctors, including Head of the Department of General Medicine M. Natarajan, are on the job too. With more trials, we expect that the better research will take place and help other COVID-19 patients in distress,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 11:39:57 AM |

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